PPAI’s Fourth-Quarter Survey Finds Sales Up Among Suppliers, Distributors

Suppliers and distributors saw fourth-quarter increases in sales in 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to PPAI’s Quarterly Sales Barometer. Industry companies reported increases of up to nine percent for the study.

On the supplier side, the study found a 6.97-percent net increase in sales. In addition, 54 percent of suppliers said they met their sales targets and 80 percent reported a profitable quarter. Seventy percent said they saw a sales increase in Q4 compared to 69 percent reporting an increase in Q3 of 2012.

“I’m actually a little bit surprised,” says Mark Abels, MAS, president of industry supplier SELCO (UPIC: SELCO). “I would have expected it to be softer. I thought that people were feeling some pressure and resistance because of the election and things like that. I know that for us business came on very strong after the election, and it’s good to see that it was like that for other people as well. Historically, the numbers are not incredible, but in light of the larger economy it’s a good result.”

PPAI’s Distributor Quarterly Sales Barometer for the fourth quarter found that, on average, distributors reported a 9.48-percent net increase in sales over 2011’s fourth quarter. Looking more closely, 72 percent of distributors saw sales rise versus a year ago, a slight increase from the percentage seen in the third quarter 2012. Furthermore, the 63 percent reporting that they achieved their sales targets was up from the 52 percent noted last quarter. Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents reported having a profitable third quarter in 2012.

The Image Group (UPIC: IMAGEGRP) reported a 2012 similar to that seen in the survey. Bruce Felber, MAS, director of marketing at Holland, Ohio, distributor says, “The Image Group exceeded its sales and profit targets for the fourth quarter, and for all of 2012. Our strong start to the first quarter of this year has us optimistic that the economic recovery will continue to gain momentum in 2013. Most of our core market segments are showing signs of increased marketing spend.”

Download PPAI Supplier Quarterly Sales Barometer’s findings here.

Click here to download a copy of the PPAI Distributor Quarterly Sales Barometer.

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