The BOSS Federation is the trade association which serves the UK office supplies and services industry by providing a range of initiatives, cost saving benefits and services, to enhance the business performance of its members.
Q3 sales down yet output rise matches forecast - confidence is up and remains positive into Q4back to list
26 November 2013
Output volumes improved significantly in line with the forecast from Q2 and are expected to continue to show positive growth in Q4, according to the results of the latest BOSS Outlook survey. Sales volumes took a turn for the worse in Q3 – however, they are forecasted to bounce back in Q4. The positive forecasts come despite a mix of stabilisation and slight decline for most order book positions in Q3, compared to Q2.
Summary of key findings:
- Sales took a turn for the worse in Q3 but are forecasted to bounce back in Q4.
- Output volumes improved significantly in line with the forecast from Q2; expected to continue to show positive growth in Q4.
- Capacity mostly concentrated in the 70-89% range.
- Employment levels continued to increase ahead of expectations.
- Average prices fell, as forecasted, in Q3; pressure expected to ease slightly in Q4.
- Staff costs increased in line with expectations in Q3; distribution costs exhibited a sharp climb.
- Margins defied forecasts to decrease for many in Q3; Q4 forecast is also negative.
- Stock values continue to fall, but by a decreasing amount in Q3; stock turn balance remains positive – though slightly less so than previously.
- Product and process innovation remains an investment priority; training is also high on the agenda.
- The level of bad debt has increasingly been an issue for many companies in the last year.