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Building materials sector: Boom times are back

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  • | 5:23 p.m. February 19, 2013
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — The building materials industry, by the results of one new survey, is heading back to a boom.

In fact, 88% of the respondents to the survey, from Brook Chase Associates, a Sarasota-based executive search firm, forecast revenue growth in 2013. Moreover, 84% of the respondents reported a revenue increase in the fourth quarter. Says one respondent: “Next year looks like it is going to be a monster!!! Awesome.”

Brook Chase, with offices in Birmingham, Charlotte, Chicago and San Francisco, in addition to Sarasota, specializes in finding executives for kitchen and bath and plumbing companies. Brook Chase conducts two major surveys a year, where it polls more than 30,000 senior-level executives in or connected to the building materials industry, from manufacturers to homebuilders.

The growth in revenues, while lauded by industry executives, isn't necessarily supported with a projected increase in senior-level hiring, survey results show. In fact, the majority of respondents don't anticipate any new executive hires during the next 12 months. A little more than one-third, 35%, of respondents, expect to add sales and marketing executives in 2013. Still, the amount of respondents that checked “no change” in hiring during the next 12 months exceeded 75% in six out of seven categories.

Even without a boom in hiring, 69% of respondents say the current state of the building materials industry is improving. That's up from 40% who felt that way in the first half of 2012, the survey reports. The majority of survey respondents, furthermore, say they are relying on the remodeling and replacement market, in addition to the commercial market, for the largest percentage of their business.

“The market continues to be unpredictable and challenging,” writes one respondent, “but there is more consistency in demand for products and services.”


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