Industry Research

IS IT REALLY OVER? Industry Gets Into Recovery Mode

Posted on March 31, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

LCT’s annual Fact Book survey of operators shows that almost half saw a rise in revenues in the last six months of 2009. About a third stayed even. One fifth said things are worse.

TORRANCE, Calif. — Results from LCT Magazine’s benchmark annual operator survey show that the worst effects of the recession are over.

LCT asked about 200 operators in the 2010 survey about whether their revenues improved during the third and fourth quarters of 2009 — what leading economic indicators define as the first six months of an economic recovery following four quarters of economic contraction between July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

In response to the question, “How is your revenue picture (as of 12/31/09) compared to six months ago (end of 2Q 2009)?” operators indicated the following:

Much better: 14.7%

Somewhat better: 33.3%

About flat/even: 30.1%

Somewhat worse: 12.8%

Far worse: 7.7%

Bankrupt: 1.3%

LCT projections show the industry contracted again in 2009 as it did in 2008 but at a slower pace, with the total number of operators in the U.S. at just below 8,000. 2010 will likely bring more consolidations, mergers, and company sales among operators as the industry continues to shake out from its worst economic downturn since the early 1980s.

More details on the state of the industry will be available in the May 2010 Fact Book issue of LCT Magazine, to be mailed out April 23.

— Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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