Supplier Sales Increase In 2012

4th Quarter Sales Rose 4.8%

Supplier Sales Increase In 2012Industry supplier sales rose 4.9% last year, reaching $12.8 billion overall, according to new data released today by ASI. More than two-thirds (68.3%) of suppliers surveyed indicated they had higher sales in 2012 compared to 2011, with smaller companies (less than $10 million in annual revenues) reporting significant year-over-year gains (7.2% on average).

"Businesses are beginning to gain their confidence, and that means they're ready to start spending again on marketing," says Lon McGowan, CEO of iClick (asi/62124). "It's great for our industry, and I believe these early growth numbers are a sign of a strong comeback in the works."

In the fourth quarter of last year, total supplier sales were approximately $3.9 billion, up $176 million or 4.8% over revenues during the same period in 2011, data showed. Nearly half (47.5%) of supplier respondents reported an increase in Q4 sales, while 25.1% reported a decrease. Larger firms (more than $10 million in annual revenues) enjoyed a greater increase in Q4 sales (5.2% on average) than smaller companies.

The majority of suppliers are optimistic about sales for 2013, with 74.4% of respondents expecting their revenues this year will be higher than in 2012. Suppliers are also more optimistic today about future sales than they were a year ago. At this time in 2012, only 62.1% of suppliers thought sales for the year would be higher than their 2011 revenues.

"I feel the industry will continue to grow at a more consistent pace in the first quarter and throughout this year," says Kim Newell, president of World Wide Lines (asi/98290). "The industry is beginning to again become more creative and I feel individual suppliers are working to bring innovation into their product lines." Adds Dan Taylor, president of BamBams (asi/38228): "Our year-to-date numbers look good – up double digits over 2012. I am bullish for BamBams in 2013 and believe the industry could see growth similar to 2012 – 5%."

Last month, Counselor reported 2012 distributor revenues increased 5.2% to $19.4 billion. More than two-thirds (67.1%) of all distributors expect their sales this year will be higher than their sales in 2012.