2007 PIA/GATF Ratios Show Printing Industry Profits Increasing
PITTSBURGH—September 25, 2007—Printing industry profits increased slightly over the past year, back to the rates of the mid to late 1990s, according to the just-completed 2007 PIA/GATF Ratios Survey.
The average printer’s before-tax profit on sales was 3.4% for the typical Ratios participant over this past year. This was an increase compared to 2.7% percent for 2006; it also is within the 3.0–3.4% range experienced from 1995–2001.
Profit leaders, printers in the top 25% of profitability, saw profits decrease slightly to 10.1% as compared to 10.3% in 2006. Despite the small decrease, profit as a percentage of sales for profit leaders remained at the same level it was at in the mid to late 1990s.
In 2007 materials accounted for the largest single cost category for the typical U.S. printer, approximately 35.4% of sales. Paper alone consumed more than one-in-five sales dollars last year. Other major costs incurred by printers last year included factory payroll (24.95% of sales), factory expenses (16.77% of sales), administrative expenses (9.57% of sales), and selling expenses (8.77% of sales).
Total materials expenses increased from 35.12% of sales in 2006 to 35.44% of sales in the 2007 survey. Printers also spent slightly less on factory expenses in 2007, with declining direct wage costs (15.88% of sales in 2006 vs. 15.60% in 2007) constituting most of the decline. Selling expenses in 2007 decreased from 9.09% in 2006 compared to 8.77% in 2007, while administrative expenses crept up slightly from 9.46% of sales in 2006 to 9.57% percent of sales in 2007.
Sales per employee for all printers increased in 2007 to $146,659 (up from $136,469 in 2006). For profit leaders, sales per employee also increased from $146,909 in 2006 to $155,161 in 2007.
Additionally, sales per factory employee increased among all printers by more than $10,000 from 2006 figures and averaged $194,633 in 2007. Profit leaders sales per factory employee increased by an even wider margin growing from $187,893 in 2006 to $203,317 in 2007.