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NAPL: September Sales Rise Shows Improvement, Slow Recovery in Progress

Press release from the issuing company

Paramus, N.J., November 25, 2002 — Printing sales rose 3.6% in September, the first increase in 16 months and a sign of the gradual improvement in economic fundamentals, according to The NAPL 2002-2003 State of the Industry Report, issued this month by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL). Despite the sales up-tick, however, there was no lessening of the pressure on prices or profitability that reached a peak during the recent recession. These trends and all of the in-depth economic analysis presented in the report are tracked by NAPL’s Printing Economics Research Center (PERC), which produces research and publications sponsored by Heidelberg, Kennesaw, Ga. "The report shows that underneath all the bad economic news, economic fundamentals are gradually improving, suggesting continued recovery rather than double-dip recession," notes Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL vice president and chief economist. "Recovery for printing will continue to be painfully slow. When it hits, only those printers who have adjusted to the ways in which our industry is being redefined will participate in that recovery." In addition to information on printing sales and profitability, The 2002-2003 NAPL State of the Industry Report includes macroeconomic data for the national economy, analyses of current and future industry trends, an in-depth look at how printers are diversifying, reports on an array of print markets, and a view of the strategies used by NAPL’s Long-Run Growth Leaders‘—a group of printers tracked by NAPL that consistently exceed industry averages for profitable growth. Copies of The NAPL 2002-2003 State of the Industry Report are provided free to NAPL Corporate Members and Associate Members and are available to non-members for $1,500. Among the printing sales and profit information featured in the report: - 43.4% of the NAPL Printing Business Panel report that their prices are lower than they were a year ago and 41.2% report lower pre-tax profitability. - 26% report higher profitability from year-ago levels. However, gains are due to extensive cost cutting, not the firming of revenues and prices that signal meaningful recovery from recession. - The NAPL Printing Business Index‘ was at 52.3 in October, down slightly from September’s 54.1, but the third consecutive reading above the critical 50.0 mark—the point at which more printers report activity is picking up than report activity is slowing down. The NAPL PBI combines input from the Association’s Printing Business Panel about work-on-hand, current business conditions, expected business conditions (confidence), hiring plans, profitability, and other key indicators into a single measure of activity. The panel is a representative group of more than 300 printers which NAPL surveys monthly on a range of key printing issues. Since the same companies are surveyed every time, data are strictly comparable from period to period. For further information on NAPL’s Printing Economics Research Center, its economic research programs, or its indicators, contact Mr. Paparozzi at [email protected].