Broadcast technology confidence falls

Confidence amongst senior executives in the supply side of the broadcast and media technology sector has declined markedly according to an IABM Industry Trends Survey. The survey, undertaken in conjunction with Ernst & Young polled the views of some 80 senior executives in IABM member companies around the world.

According to IABM Chief Executive Officer Roger Stanwell, the extended period of growth in the sector may be coming to an end and responses to our survey suggest that suppliers are now expecting much more challenging times over the immediate period ahead.

Confidence has gone from positive to negative for the first time since the survey started in 2005 and 43 per cent of respondents expect the situation to be deteriorating in a year from now compared to 13 per cent who think it will be improving. The view reflects the late cyclical‰ nature of the sector where large projects have momentum and so an adverse economic situation takes time to impact but similarly may make the sector late in recovery. It is also indicative of the massive growth in the broadcast market over the last 18 months, buoyed by the quadrennial events the Olympics, US election and other live events, and the shift towards digital infrastructures and HD.

Order volumes and values have weakened over the last quarter and although selling prices were stable in Q3 2008, cost prices have continued to show upward movement resulting in squeezed margins. This is predicted to continue. The political/economic situation and project/order deferral by customers are cited by 57 per cent of respondents as limiting factors on order growth.

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