IThe worst of the recession appears to be over in the broadcast and media technology sector and vendors are feeling increasingly optimistic about the future, according to a new study carried out by Ernst & Young LLP in association with the IABM, the body which represents the supply side of the industry.
The report is based on the IABM’s Industry Trends Survey carried out in May 2010, immediately following the NAB exhibition. Suppliers returning from NAB reported to the researchers that the event had been a turning point, seeing a new confidence returning to the sector.
Central to the positive view was a 74% response anticipating better business next year than last. 47% of those surveyed are already reporting better order volumes than expected and, in a clear indication of the global nature of the industry, export orders – wherever the home country of the manufacturer – are largely outstripping domestic growth.
One challenging trend for the industry is that fierce competition has led to pressure on prices, and while order volumes are better for 47%, when asked to compare order values against expectations only 38% saw rises. When asked about unit prices, 78% of manufacturers said that they were either maintained or increased over the last quarter.
“Talking to manufacturers at NAB, the message came over clearly that they were relieved that the worst appeared to be over and business was coming back, albeit slowly and at different paces in different regions,” said Peter White, director general of IABM. “This independent survey underlines that message. We see gratifying rises in orders, and that in turn is leading companies to invest in their futures through increased headcounts. But there remains a worry that access to finance, for both suppliers and customers, is acting as a choke on the free flow of orders.”
The IABM Industry Trends Study is based on a confidential survey of IABM member companies, carried out on the association’s behalf by Ernst & Young. The full details of the survey are available only to those businesses which take part in the survey.