Meanwhile, the second-quarter Counselor Confidence Index – which measures distributor health and optimism – reached 112, remaining near an all-time high.
“I think it was a good second quarter overall and I believe the numbers are representative of the marketplace,” said Memo Kahan, president of Top 40 firm PromoShop (asi/300446). “The drivers continue to be fueled by low interest rates, gas prices and other commodities dropping. Sentiment on the street has turned from optimistic to cautiously optimistic, though.”
Nearly half (44%) of distributors reported a year-over-year rise in second-quarter sales. About 36% of respondents said their Q2 revenues remained the same versus 2014, and 20% reported decreased second-quarter sales. Mid-sized distributors ($250,000 to $1 million in annual sales) led gainers, posting 3.7% average sales growth in Q2. Small distributor firms (less than $250,000) reported an average sales increase of 1.8%, while large companies (more than $1 million) realized an average quarterly sales jump of 3.1%.
Distributors are optimistic about their overall sales for 2015, although they appear slightly less bullish as a group than they were earlier in the year. About 54% of survey respondents expect an increase in revenues over last year. At the close of the first quarter, 61% anticipated higher 2015 sales. “Year to date, we’re up 8% over 2014 through July 30,” said Rod Brown, managing director at MadeToOrder (asi/259540). “I am hoping to finish the year up approximately 10% up at $30 million total revenue.”