Peter White, director general at industry association IABM, was candid in delivering his regular IABM market research survey for IBC, saying that business for his members remained under extreme pressure.
White said that by any measure trading was tough. “Margins remain under pressure, and some 25% of our members have now been loss-making for more than 24 months. SMEs in particular are having a tough time in terms of top-line sales growth. For many of these businesses it remains a picture of doom and gloom.”
The study also showed that the number of companies in profit (to April 2012) fell to 68%, from 75% a year earlier. “There’s a lack of confidence generally,” he said, “and last year’s bounce-back has not continued. Coming out of the 2009-10 Eurozone recession trading continues to be very tough. The USA is doing better than Europe, helped by their sales successes in Asia and Latin America. The mood in the US remains more positive.“ - Chris Forrester