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ICIA Releases Positive Report on A/V Industry

The International Communications Industries Association Inc. (ICIA) has announced the release of its new 2004 Market Forecast Survey, which showed that 3/18/2004 7:00 AM Eastern

The International Communications Industries Association Inc. (ICIA) has announced the release of its new 2004 Market Forecast Survey, which showed that “future trends are again quite positive,” with most of the companies that responded believing their revenues and profits to increase during the next three years. The survey covers a broad range of issues, beginning with earnings and profitability, and extending to members’ perceptions of important new products and trends.

“Findings in the report, combined with the strengthening stock market and anecdotal evidence, give us cause to expect an improving business climate for the audiovisual [A/V] industry this year,” said Jim Smith, HB Communications, chair of ICIA’s Sound, Audiovisual and Video Integrators (SAVVI) Council. “Our optimism for the coming year is more fully warranted by the detailed market intelligence ICIA’s survey has gathered.”

Revenue finding showed that among responding companies, median revenue climbed from $2.6 million in 2002 to $3 million in 2003, jumping 9.1 percent, and is expected to grow another 14.1 percent to $3.5 million in 2004. Respondents also reported significantly higher profits in 2003 over 2002, and expect this trend to continue in 2004. It should be noted that respondents were predominantly A/V dealers and integrators, as well as a proportionately smaller number of independent design consultants.

These companies view the business/corporate market as the A/V industry’s most significant category, accounting for an average 23 percent of revenues in 2003; however, the higher-education market is perceived as very important, accounting for 14.9 percent of revenues. Government and military, meetings and events, worship and K through 12 markets are also high on the radar.

New products and technologies singled out for having a positive impact on members’ businesses include video-conferencing, digital signal processing, control systems and devices, wireless devices, the growing convergence of A/V systems and solutions, LCD projectors, and LCD and plasma displays.

Among trends the survey examined, respondents see as most positive the increased use of conference and collaboration technologies, the integration of A/V systems into information technology (IT) environments, the growth of wireless technologies and larger displays, the spread of remote management and monitoring systems, and the growing residential market.

On the flip side, the trends most respondents see as having a negative impact include "mega-stores," Internet- and manufacturer-direct sales, lower-priced equipment, especially projectors, and margin erosion in professional A/V products.

“The ICIA Annual Market Forecast Survey describes a healthy industry recovering from the same recession experienced worldwide,” said Joe Bocchiaro III, CTS-D, Electro-Media Design Ltd., chair of ICIA’s Independent Consultants in A/V Technologies (ICAT) Council. “With rapidly changing technology a constant factor in the audio-visual industry, the survey appropriately explores the trends related to competitive influences from outside and the shifts in technology usage related to large meetings and travel-related events.

“Strong optimism for 2004 is an indication that already there are increases in interest in new projects and events,” Bocchiaro continued. “The audio-visual industry, meanwhile, prepares for demand to increase as the benefits of technology are more widely recognized.”

Companies responsible for the design, integration and rental of A/V equipment and systems serve a wide variety of market segments. They are experiencing a lag in traditional integrated systems business but an increase in collaborative systems business. In general, companies are diversified enough to take advantage of shifts in client's needs, while absorbing losses in other areas.

Copies of the 2004 Market Forecast Survey can be purchased in the ICIA Online Store or by calling ICIA Sales at 800/659-7469. For more information, visit www.infocomm.org.

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