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Six Consecutive Profitable Quarters for U.S. Commercial Printing Businesses, but Printers Still Have Hard Climb Ahead

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

Lexington, KY - WhatTheyThink, the leading online media organization serving the printing and publishing industry, today announced the availability of their most current report titled "U.S. Commercial Printing Profits, 1995 to Q1-2011." Authored by Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center, the report is part of WhatTheyThink's premium access subscription. Others may purchase the report from the WhatTheyThink e-store:


"The first quarter of 2011 continued a welcome continuation of profitability for the industry," said Dr. Webb. "The industry shakeout of unprofitable businesses, and the better management of healthier businesses continues to create an improved bottom line, but there are still great challenges ahead." Dr. Webb noted that the restructuring of the industry will be a continuing process in 2011 and beyond.

"While profits are steadily rising," said Dr. Webb. "they need to increase almost 50% to reach levels seen in the early 2000s, and have to grow more than 4x to be at the levels of the late 1990s. We're advising printers, to continue to restructure their businesses, make future-directed consolidations and acquisitions, and prepare for increased materials costs. The marketplace pressures from other media are going to intensify at the end of the year."

In the report, Dr. Webb also includes updated inflation multipliers for managers to adjust company historical data. "Inflation is a serious problem, and it distorts the understanding of company trends. By using these adjustment factors, owners and executives can see the true underlying trends in their businesses."

The Printing Profits Report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analysis of commercial printing and print services shipments and profits from 1995 to 2010. The bonus audio file includes Dr. Webb's frank analysis, opinions, and strategic outlook. Containing Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files, the cost of the report is $50.00 and features the audio commentary in MP3 format. Those purchasing the report can easily repurpose the charts and data for internal, client presentations, and reports. This edition of the report also includes a discussion about industry capacity and pitfalls in its measurement and interpretation.

The report contains significant and proprietary analysis and by Dr. Webb and WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center. It is a top-level analysis of the U.S. commercial printing and trade services markets such as commercial offset, digital, and other printing processes, as well as prepress and postpress contained in the standard business classification NAICS 323.  


WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center contains a blend of free and premium content for graphic arts and publishing executives. It offers an online library of primary research reports, executive summaries of economic trends, and related industry columns, videos, podcasts and webinars.


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