Semper’s Latest Industry Insight Survey Finds Continued Growth and Optimism in the Printing Industry
Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, reports that the number of companies that reported sales growth increased for the fifth straight quarter, to nearly 60 percent for Q4 2014. This accompanies 85 percent of companies that reported profitability for the same quarter.
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.
This quarter, Semper International partnered with Printing Impressions, the sister publication of Print+Promo, to distribute the survey and saw a boost in participation, particularly among companies with 500+ employees. "It is our pleasure to welcome the Printing Impressions team as a partner in our survey efforts. We feel it's important to deliver the best survey possible, and our combined strengths will even further enhance our gift to the community. This was a great quarter to launch a partnership, as the results indicate a surge back to profitability and growth of our respondents after so many lean years," explained David Regan, CEO, Semper International.
The report offers a number of critical insights that Semper saw in the survey data. Insights include:
- 85 percent of respondents reported a profitable Q4 2014.
- One-third (33 percent) of companies saw an increase in sales during the first two weeks of 2015.
- Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents expect sales to grow during Q1.
- 62 percent of businesses are diversifying, up five points from last quarter.
- The leading areas of diversification continue to be Web-based media, wide-format printing and direct mail.
- 45 percent of all respondents expect to hire staff during Q1 2015.
- The largest labor cost concern continues to be health insurance, most likely due to the effects of the Affordable Care Act-increasing 18 points.
The full report is available here.