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Semper International's latest Industry Insight survey reports a 20% drop in companies reporting profitability

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

While 71% of firms were still profitable, the current survey finds a decrease in hiring and profitability amid macroeconomic concerns.  

Boston, MA – Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, reports that 71% of responding companies reported a profitable Q2 2015, a 20% drop from last quarter. This accompanies 29% of companies that reported an increase in sales during the first two weeks of Q3.

Since February 2003, Semper International has provided a quarterly survey offering estimates of trends in the printing and graphics industries. To prevent bias, survey questions — both qualitative and quantitative — are designed by Semper corporate partner Cvent. Survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies; both clients and prospects of Semper International. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and are not screened. To preserve confidentiality, individual company information is not part of the tabulation. 

Again this quarter, Semper International partnered with Printing Impressions to distribute the survey and saw a boost in participation, particularly among large companies (measured by number of employees). 

“The recovery continues to be a long and winding road. The soft spot we saw in the winter continues into the quarter. Our hopes for a fast recovery have not come to fruition,” commented David Reagan, CEO, Semper International. “The news isn’t all bad. Companies have seen growth in the early days of Q3 and the traditional fall busy season is around the corner.” 

The report offers a number of critical insights that Semper saw in the survey data. Insights include: 

  • 71% of respondents reported a profitable Q2 2015, a 21% drop from the previous quarter.
  • More than half (62%) of firms posted net margins of between 5% and 15%.
  • 29% of companies saw an increase in sales during the first two weeks of Q3.
  • 61% of respondents expect sales to grow during Q3. 11% expect a decline.
  • 71% of businesses reported they are diversifying, a 5 point drop from last quarter. The leading areas of diversification are wide format printing and web based media.
  • 34% of firms made capital investments during the last quarter.
  • 46% of all respondents expect to hire staff during Q3 2015.
  • 42% of all respondents use online ads to hire new employees, compared to 21% last quarter (and relying more on referrals).
  • The largest labor cost concern continues to be health insurance, followed by overtime and base pay.

To participate in future surveys, please email always@semperllc.com. More information is available at the Semper International website: 

http://resources.semperllc.com/quarterly-survey/2015-q3/

 

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