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New PIA/GATF Ratios Show Printers Profits Increasing

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, Pa., July 8, 2004 -- Printing industry profits increased slightly the past year, according to the just completed 2004 PIA/GATF Ratios Survey. Profits are still not back to the rates of the mid- to late 1990s, but continue to improve. The before-tax profit for the average printer was 1.7 %, using the figure for the typical Ratios participant. While this represents a modest increase, overall, profits are still lower than the 1.9% achieved during the 1990 - 1991 recession.  Profit leaders, printers in the top 25% of profitability, continue to experience significantly better results than other printers - their profits increased to 8.7% of sales. These profits, while encouraging, are still modest when compared to profits of 8.9% during the 1990-91 recession and 10%+ during 1999-2001. A landmark analysis of the reasons for the striking differences between profit leaders and other printers conducted last year indicated that there were six major reasons for the success of profit leaders: - Profit leaders have a clearly defined strategy - Profit leaders are more efficient in manufacturing the printed product - Profit leaders are more efficient in administrative, marketing and management functions - Profit leaders invest more in education and training of their employees - Profit leaders ìshare the wealthî with their employees through bonus and incentive programs - Profit leaders are exploiting opportunities in ancillary services. These findings were detailed in a special Ratios report "keys to Profitability" which is still available. Overall, costs decreased in the past year. All major expense categories, save one - administrative expenses - saw decreases over the previous year. Once again, materials accounted for the largest single cost category for the typical US printer. Paper alone consumed more than one-in-five sales dollars. Productivity improvements helped increase the sales per employee for all printers to $124,759, up from $120,532 last year. Again, profit leaders demonstrate better numbers as sales per employee for the most profitable companies increased from $126,676 to $129,156. Printers use the Ratios reports to evaluate their performance against industry profit leaders to improve their own operations and become even more profitable. Specific reports are available for a variety of firm profiles - size of firm, printing process and print market segments. To order the reports, go to the PIA/GATF on-line Bookstore at www.GAIN.net, Books and Products or call 1-800-910-4283 ext.310.