While not at pre-2001 levels, results indicate improved conditions.
WhatTheyThink.com, an online media organization serving the printing and publishing industry, recently released an economic report titled “Printing Shipments and Profits.”
“Printing profits for the last four quarters, Q3-2006 to Q2-2007, were $5.15 billion on an inflation-adjusted basis,” said Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink.com’s Economic and Research Center. “This is excellent news compared to the same period a year ago, when profits were only $3.86 billion, a 23.4 percent increase.”
Built on data compiled from WhatTheyThink’s Economics and Research Center, the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1995 through the second quarter of 2007, “Printing Shipments and Profits” shows the industry profits for the quarter were $1.73 billion.
This is the first time it broke that level, on an inflation-adjusted basis, since the third quarter of 2000, when it was nearly $3.5 billion.
Dr. Webb commented, “While we’re not at pre-2001 levels, the results are certainly very encouraging and these improved conditions played a role in the positive tone many of us felt at Graph Expo last week.”
The report contains proprietary analysis by Dr. Webb and WhatTheyThink.com’sEconomics and Research Center.
It includes all segments of NAICS 323 for commercial printing and trade servicessuch as commercial offset, digital and other printing processes, as well as prepress and postpress.
“Printing Shipments and Profits” is available for immediate purchase at http://wttstore.com/prpr.html.
The cost of the report is $50, and the report includes Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files, as well as an MP3 file with audio commentary.
WhatTheyThink.com’s Economics and Research Center contains a combination of free and premium content for graphic arts and publishing executives.
It offers an online library of primary research reports, executive summaries of economic trends and related industry columns, videos, podcasts and webinars.
Capital Investment Main Challenge Facing Digital Printers
According to “Selected Business Challenges, Digital Printer, Spring 2007,” a new report from The Industry Measure/TrendWatch Graphic Arts, capital investment issues dominate digital printers’ top challenges.
In spring 2007, 45 percent of digital printers saw “growing sales/getting new business” as a sales opportunity,” while 42 percent saw “profitably using the new technologies we’ve already invested in” as a sales opportunity.
According to the report, the major theme is the challenge of capital investment facing digital printers. In an offset shop, a printer may need to keep up with software and peripheral equipment, but their really big investment – the press – lasts a long time. The situation is completely different in a digital shop.
Digital presses can almost be thought of as computers. Every year or two, printers need to upgrade their presses to keep up with speeds and capabilities. Digital printers are not only faced with the challenge of learning to become the kinds of companies that can sell on the value of their applications and marketing expertise, rather than cost-per-pieces, but they also have the even more basic challenge of pricing for profitability.
The Industry Measure specializes in the assessment of trend and changes in graphic communications markets by providing timely and strategic information, market analysis and concise expert opinion. For more information go to www.theindustrymeasure.com.