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Industry Perspective: Sales Are Rising for Some, Falling for Others

September 27, 2013

GrowthThe National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) State of the Industry Report, 11th Edition, reveals striking differences in individual company performance that has little to do with business size, location, or specialty, and everything to do with each company’s ability to respond to current industry and economic challenges.

“The most telling result of our research is the dramatic variation in performance from company to company,” explains NAPL Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi. “We found that, compared to a year ago, sales were up an average of more than 21 percent during the first half of 2013 for the top fifth of our survey group and down an average of almost 15 percent for the bottom fifth. Clearly, some companies are on the right side of market redistribution, while others are not, and are falling further behind.”

Paparozzi, co-author of the report with NAPL Senior Economist Joseph Vincenzino, introduced the latest edition in a presentation at the booth of report sponsor KBA during the recent PRINT 13 show in Chicago.

“Business remains a tough grind,” adds Paparozzi, noting that since early 2010 commercial printing industry sales have fluctuated between fractional gains and fractional losses, and remain more than 21 percent below their pre-recession high. “Getting to and staying on the good side of the market redistribution is the most significant challenge facing everyone in our industry. We’re in a constant battle for market share, and neither a healthy economy nor continued consolidation is going to change that.”

ViewThe new NAPL report includes an in-depth look at industry Leaders, whose performance has outpaced the rest of the industry significantly over the last decade plus. “Despite economic challenges and structural changes, between January 2000 and March 2013, Leaders’ sales are up 54.2 percent, while the industry at large is down more than 21 percent,” says Paparozzi.

How Leaders have responded to challenges, diversified, and implemented strategic shifts are outlined in the report, along with key takeaways and lessons learned that all printers can apply in their businesses.

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