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Semper International's Latest Industry Insight Survey Reports 13 Pt Increase in Firms Reporting Profitability in the 3rd Quarter




Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, reports that 84% of responding companies reported a profitable Q3 2015, a 13 point increase from last quarter. This accompanies 42% of companies that reported an increase in sales during the first two weeks of Q4. However, the survey also reported a more pessimistic sales forecast by participating companies.

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.

Again this quarter, Semper International partnered with Printing Impressions to distribute the survey and saw a boost in participation, particularly among large companies (measured by number of employees).

“The roller coaster ride of the recovery continues. On a strong positive note, last quarter we reported a contraction in the number of companies reporting profits. It is probably a combination of both a fickle economy and a testament to the industry’s resilience and flexibility that many firms adjusted in three months to increase sales and return to profitability,” comments David Reagan, CEO, Semper International. “However, we also report dropping net margins, with 50% of firms reporting net profits of 5-10%, and another 25% reporting profits of under 5%.

The report offers a number of critical insights that Semper saw in the survey data. Insights include:

• 50% of firms posted 5%-10% net margin rates.
• 42% of firms reported sales growth, up from 29% in the Q3 survey
• The number of companies that made capital investments grew to 39%
• The number of companies anticipating sales growth dropped below 50% for the first time since the 3rd quarter of 2014
• 45% of firms reported plans to hire this quarter, up from 36% last survey.
• 61% of businesses are diversifying, a 10 point drop from last quarter.


To participate in future surveys, please email [email protected]. More information is available at the Semper International website:



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