Largest UK Leather Merchants bigger not better

16 May 2005

Size and scale are no advantage when it comes to overall financial success, according to a new study by leather merchants and wholesalers industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing. It seems the industry's smaller players are putting their larger counterparts to shame when it comes to overall financial performance. The study has looked at the industry's largest 44 companies and compared their financial performance with that of 174 smaller UK leather merchants and wholesalers competitors. There is no doubting the dominance of these 44 'major players'. They currently control almost 94% of the market. Yet look beyond their size at their individual financial performance and their image appears somewhat staid. Of the Top 44 companies profiled, 19 failed to increase sales beyond that of the industry average, dispelling the myth that they are capturing ever more market share; 18 made less profit than the average industry performer, dispelling the myth that their monopolisation of the market has led to inflated profitability; 7 are less efficient in their use of people, dispelling the myth that economies of scale bring large efficiency advantages; 18 are rated as being in financial danger, dispelling the myth that it is only the smaller companies that fail. When the financial performance of these industry leaders is compared with the rest of the industry, some of the really exciting companies in the market are revealed. Of the smaller 174 companies profiled, 19 increased sales at over 5% last year, proving that good growth is possible in a stable market; 17 delivered more than 5% pre-tax margins, proving that high profitability is achievable irrespective of size; 5 delivered over £368,000 sales per employee, proving that you do not need economies of scale to be efficient; 75 are rated as financially strong, proving that many of the industry's smaller companies are well managed businesses. The Plimsoll Leather Merchants & Wholesalers Top 44 Analysis is ideal for the non-accountant who is looking to understand the market and the companies within it. Each of the Top 44 companies have been analysed based on their last 4 years of financial performance. The full 238-paged analysis is available for £500. Readers of Leather will receive a free copy of the Top 174 Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis when ordering. (Priced at £305 if bought separately) Call Plimsoll Publishing Ltd +44 1642 626400, or visit [] to order.

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