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Architectural woodworkers optimistic about near-term business

Overall sentiment among architectural woodworkers about the next six months is fairly high (62 percent), according to respondents to an annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey recently completed by the Architectural Woodwork Institute.

The survey results suggest an improving environment among architectural woodwork business owners. Another positive sign revealed by the 2009 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study Report is that the sales pipeline sentiment for the next six months (44 percent) is significantly higher than the last six months (15 percent). The business sentiment is affected by business conditions, sales pipeline, cash flow and labor quality.

Regardless, like many sectors of the construction market, business condition sentiment is still quite unfavorable (47 percent) while labor quality is quite strong - 96 percent for all firms and 100 percent for high-profit firms. The survey found that high profit manufacturing firms (of all amounts of square footage) have operating margins of 13.1 percent compared with the average operating margin of respondents of 4.9 percent.

Capital investments scored high, even in the last 12 months. Sixty-four percent of high profit firms invested more than $100,000 in the last 12 months compared with 42 percent of respondents overall who invested more than $100,000 in the last 12 months. The investment outlook for the next 12-month period revealed that 35 percent of responding high profit firms plan on making capital investments of more than $100,000. Only 18 percent of respondents plan on reducing their work force in the next 12 months (regardless of profit margins).

Among the manufacturing respondents to the 2009 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey, 45 percent have been in business more than 25 years, 36 percent have sales in excess of $5 million, 46 percent have 30 or more employees, and 36 percent outsource their installation completely to contractors.

The 2009 AWI Cost of Doing Survey and Compensation Study Report is free of charge to all participating AWI manufacturing members, while non-participating AWI manufacturing members receive a complimentary Executive Survey. Single copy prices are: $500 for non-participating AWI manufacturing members; $950 for all others.

Contact: AWI. Tel: 571-323-3636.

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