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Printer Confidence Index: Printers Expect Profits to Rise 6% in 2003

Press release from the issuing company

January 7, 2003 - WhatTheyThink.com and CAP Ventures have released the results of the Printer Confidence Index, the most thorough and up-to-date indicator tracking market conditions in the printing industry. The data was compiled in December from printers throughout the United States. The index provides industry executives with real-time analysis of PRINT DEMAND and CAPITAL SPENDING expectations. In December, respondents to the Printer Confidence Index were asked to reflect on 2002 and project their plans for 2003. 2002 was not a banner year, but it has improved in the second half. There was a nearly even split in the percentage of companies citing increasing, decreasing and flat revenues in 2002 vs. 2001. However, about 43% of companies indicated that profits improved in 2002. Overall, printers indicated that revenues (-0.3%) and profits (-0.2%) were essentially flat in 2002. However, there was significant difference by size of company. Small companies (under $3 million) and large companies ($20 million+) indicated declining revenue and profits in 2002. Mid-size companies ($3 million to $19.9 million) indicated improving revenue and profits. CAP Ventures believes that many large printers struggled throughout 2002 as large corporate print buyers reduced spending. There was some industry consolidation particularly among smaller companies (either discontinuing operations or being acquired). Printers have a positive outlook or 2003 with revenue to grow 5.5%, profits to grow 6.0%, capital spending to grow 3.1% while employment is expected to grow only 1.1%. CAP Ventures believes these estimate are reasonable for the industry. Assuming real GDP growth of around 3.0% and inflation of around 2.0% in 2003, it is possible for the printing industry to grow nominal revenues by around 5.0% to 6.0%. Profits are also positioned to improve as revenues increase and capacity utilization improves. Printers appear to be focusing on improved productivity by increasing capital equipment purchases and keeping head count down. Clearly there are many factors that could affect 2003 (war, terrorist attack, slump in GDP, flat ad spending, etc.). However, the industry has been improving for the last six months. We look to 2003 with cautious optimism. --------- Premium Access members can view the charts, graphs, demographics and complete comparisons with previous months. The Index tracks print demand last month, this month and the coming six months. The Index also examines past, present and future spending plans on capital equipment like: - Prepress - Offset & Conventional Presses - Color Copiers & Printers - High Speed Digital Color - High Speed Digital B&W - Wide Format Printers - Bindery Equipment - Print Management Software For more information, visit www.whattheythink.com