A market conditions survey included with the PVF e-News of June 24 revealed PVF manufacturers and distributors with generally improving sales but margins squeezed like a toothpaste tube. Among manufacturers, master distributors, distributors and reps responding, 56% indicated increases in sales during the first half of 2010 compared with the same period of 2009. Of those, 30.5% said sales were up more than 10%. Another 25.6% reported sales declined more than 10%.

Respondents generally felt upbeat about prospects for the second half. More than half, 57.8%, expected sales to rise in the second half vs. the second half of 2009, including 30.8% who predicted increases of more than 10%. Gloomy prospects were foreseen by 14.5% of respondents who said they expected second half sales to decline by more than 10%, and 19.3% who predicted a drop of between 1-10%.

A query about margins found 48.2% of respondents saying they were “slightly below what we planned,” while another 21.7% said they were “far below” their plans. On the positive side, 28% of respondents said margins were “slightly above” plan, while only a single respondent indicated margins “far above” expectations.

A question about lead times elicited the following responses:
  • “We’ve run into a few problems with longer delivery lead times” - 42.7%

  • “Most delivery lead times are running about normal” - 40.2%

  • “We’ve run into many problems with longer than usual delivery lead times” - 13.4%

  • “Most delivery lead times are faster than normal” - 3.7%.