This illustrious group provides work for 1,036.5 employees; 27.63% percent of the group’s total. CCI/Coakley Tech reported 398 full time and 12 part time employees. However, since this is the total number of employees at the large commercial firm and the Top 100 only registers information from its quick printing division, I adjusted this down to half and included 199 full time and six part time employees, for a total of 202. Balmar/HBP reported 200 employees, ColorNet/Rockville had 110 at last report, and ASAP Printing has 100. The rest of the group follows with 75 employees at Econoprint, 74 at Copy Central, 72 at Western Graphics, 70 at Hatteras, 68.5 at Landmark Print, and 65 at Frank Gumpert Printing.
Quite a few companies in the Top 100 reported acquisitions, leading to significant sales growth. Jay Hartway, president of Unique Litho noted that an acquisition late in the year had added four new employees, but not much in total sales, therefore skewing his sales per employee (SPE) lower than it would have been otherwise. Hasia Zubn of Rapid Blueprint pointed out that the Tampa-based company is in the process of integrating two distinct businesses under one roof. All of that activity combined with the slowly improving economy yielded overall annual sales growth of 7.27% for this group.
Leading the pack by reporting 59.86% growth on the year is Balmar/HBP, followed by Robert Johnson’s AlphaGraphics franchise which posted 40% growth. Five companies had sales in the 30% range: Rapid Blueprint Co. (35%), John Flynn’s Allegra (34%), Karen Brinker’s AlphaGraphics (33%), B Squared (31.11%), and Rudy Baron and Dave Jackson’s AlphaGraphics (31.05%). There were seven companies with sales growth in the 20% range, 19 reporting growth of 10-19%, and 24 with single-digit growth. Five companies reported sales up by less than 1%. The six companies that estimated due to failure to report show 0% growth, as do two more that did report, but had flat sales.
Thirty companies saw sales decline in 2010. Two of them dipped by less than a percent, 18 fell by less than 10%, and 10 companies suffered double-digit losses. Hardest hit was Minuteman Press of Jersey City, NJ, which declined by -19.13%.
Locations & Employees
This year’s Top 100 has two more surprises in store. For quite a few years the number of locations and employees has steadily declined. In 2010, the number of locations remained the same at 188. This is seems a bit serendipitous considering that 15 of the players changed. Also, the number of employees increased to 3,752 – 50 more than in 2009. That’s up by 1.35% and represents 3,545 full time and 207 part time workers.
Sixty-six companies in the list run only one location, 15 of them operate two shops, eight of them have three locations, four of them have four shops, five have five shops, one has eight, and one has 19 locations. The average number of employees is slightly fewer than 20 (19.96), ranging from a high of 202 to a low of 12.
Sales per shop (SPS) was up by 3.85% on the year, with an average SPS of $2,830,674. Balmar/HBP has the highest SPS at $16 million. Other leaders in this category are Landmark Print ($10,855,000), Mele Printing ($9.2 million), and Marange Printing ($7.2 million). Seven companies had SPS in the $6 million range, nine were in the $5 million range, six were in the $4 million range, 25 were in the range of $3 million, 27 were in the $2 million range, and 15 were in the $1 million range. Only six companies reported SPS of less than $1 million.
Sales per employee (SPE) is perhaps the best indicator of a company’s overall fiscal health. So it is gratifying to report that the average SPE for 2010 improved by 2.46% to $141, 835. That is particularly significant in light of the fact that the total number of employees also increased.
Printing companies that can show SPE in excess of $200,000 are rare, but this year’s Top 100 is host to 12 of them. Out in front are One-Source Communications with SPE of $241,071, George Coriaty’s Sir Speedy in Whittier, CA, with $232,559, American Graphics Printing Co. with $232,395, Braintree Printing reporting $229,550, and Goodcopy Printing & Digital Graphics at $225,611. There are 30 companies with SPE of at least $150,000, 38 with SPE of at least $120,000, and 18 with SPE in the $100,000 range. Only two firms had SPE of less than $100,000.
Better Days Ahead
There is no question that 2010 was a great improvement over 2009. Despite a few rough edges, the overall business conditions are much better than those we faced this time last year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the turnaround is continuing and that the printers who survived are at last able to turn their attention back to growth prospects. So let’s all breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a moment of celebration before rolling up our sleeves and getting back to work.