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If there’s one thing America’s privately owned companies have learned over the past five years, it’s how to make the most of their sales in a shaky economy, according to new data from Sageworks, a financial-information company.
Private companies in 2012 continue to strengthen their net profit margins, which on an average annual basis are now more than triple their rates during the depths of the recession when they hit lows of 3.09%, 3.05%, and 3.05% again in December 2009, January 2010, and February 2010, respectively. The average annual net profit margin for U.S. private companies that filed financial statements within the past three months is 9.1%, according to the Sageworks Private Company Indicator. And average margins are more than three percentage points higher than before the recession, an increase of more than 50%.