Critical Trends Face-Off

  • Selling Prices versus Pre-Tax Profitability | In 2008, selling prices increased across all converting segments with 39% of respondents in Tapes, Labels & Tags enjoying the least increase and Unprinted Rolls & Sheets tying at 54% with Paperboard Packaging having the largest increases. When it came to pre-tax profitability, however, 65% of respondents in Tapes Labels & Tags reported decreases in 2008 with only 45% of Flexible Packaging respondents indicating a decrease and over a quarter (at 27%) experiencing an increase.
  • Materials Costs | Across the board in 2008, materials costs rose for all sectors most often at a rate of 8%?10% (charts not shown) with Flexible Packaging experiencing only somewhat less of an increase at 76% than the other sectors at 88%?89%.
  • Sustainability Efforts | The vast majority of responding companies currently engage in efforts toward sustainable manufacturing products and/or services. Those involved in Flexible Packaging (36%) have been most successful in avoiding bearing any additional costs due to sustainability efforts with 26% reporting their efforts actually have reduced their cost of doing business. For 44% of this sector, respondents also reported that sustainability efforts actually helped attract new business and retain old business (not shown). Well over half (58%) of Tapes, Labels & Tag companies were the hardest hit, having to absorb costs for their sustainable efforts.

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