Semper Reports Increase in Profitability After Sluggish Q2 in Industry Survey
BOSTON—August 5, 2013—Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, reports that it observed an industry sales boost during the last half of the second quarter of 2013.
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.
“Sales have picked up since the Fed announced this most recent round of quantitative easing (QE)," said Dave Regan, CEO Semper International. "With QE2 we saw a boost in sales followed by a downturn. We hope that the open-ended QE3 will prevent the stall that occurred with previous rounds of QE.”
The most recent survey indicates positive outlook and improved sales:
- 68 percent of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q2. This represents a 16 point increase over first quarter, although a bit less than the number of companies reporting profits during and Q3 (72 percent) and Q4 (79 percent) 2012.
- 35 percent of survey respondents reported an increase in revenue over last quarter.
- Looking at just the two weeks before the survey, 34 percent of companies reported an increase in sales.
- 56 percent of companies expect sales to increase through the remainder of Q3, 2013—a more optimistic result than the survey has seen in a year—while 30 percent expect sales to stay the same. Last quarter 48 percent expected a sales increase and 40 percent expected sales to stay the same.
- The vast majority of respondents (68 percent) predicted that hiring levels would remain the same or increase, nearly the same as last quarter.
- Just over half of companies reported that healthcare is the labor cost component that increased the fastest last quarter. Healthcare has remained the fastest growing cost component for the last 14 quarters. Base pay, the next largest component, jumped up seven points, to 20 percent, from last quarter.
- The greatest competitive threat to printers remains largely unchanged from last quarter. The current economy (52 percent) is the biggest threat, exceeding lower cost competitors (22 percent) and operating costs (seven percent).
- Not surprisingly, print buyers place the greatest pricing pressures on ink to substrate printing (53 percent) and digital printing (30 percent).
- Referrals (41 percent) continue to be the most popular way to find employees. Online ads (29 percent) are the second most popular source of finding new employees.
About Semper International
Semper International is a temporary help placement firm founded and staffed by professionals who were raised and trained in the printing and graphic arts industry, and who understand the innate needs and demands of the profession. Semper has a thorough understanding of all the positions, equipment, and software essential to the business, which assures a perfect employee-employer match.
The Semper team constantly monitors job market trends in the industry. They understood the changes that occurred in job responsibilities when electronic prepress replaced the typesetter and mechanicals, and similarly understands the impact trends such as direct-to-plate and digital print have on staffing. Semper most recently introduced TechCreative professionals whose skills encompass both artistic, design and technical skills to output to any media.
To provide career growth, Semper offers Semper University, an online training program for its employees to help prepare conventional printing professionals for upcoming changes in the industry. Realizing how the Internet is revolutionizing the industry, Semper also works with the most talented Web designers, graphic designers, desktop publishers and production managers.
Semper has offices in Boston (HQ), Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA, Minneapolis and Wayne, NJ. Direct Hire services for sales and management positions are conducted throughout the country.