Highlights From the ABACUS-18 Financial Benchmarking Report

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ABACUS logoAmerican Booksellers Association member bookstores that participated in the 2018 ABACUS financial benchmarking survey received their customized reports last week. The 2018 report, which is designed to provide easy-to-understand guidelines for identifying business performance improvement opportunities, was generated based on financial data supplied by more than 300 independent bookstores from across the U.S.

All companies participating in the survey receive a free, confidential, customized company performance report, which presents a company’s own ratios alongside appropriate industry comparatives. In addition to the customized report, all survey participants have access to online reporting tools that sort by geographic region, number of employees, number of locations, square footage, and more.

Here are some of the highlights from the data collected:

Overall, respondents’ net income before taxes has continued to grow and was positive for the third straight year.

Net income before taxes chart

In 2018, the typical respondent saw a gross margin of 46.6%, while the most profitable companies had a gross margin of 46.9%.

Gross margin chart

During 2018, 75% of all companies reported positive sales growth for the year. The typical company reported an increase of 4.6%, and the most profitable companies saw growth of 6.8%.

Sales growth chart

The typical respondent reported 24.0% of their net sales went to paying for employees.

Net sales paying for employees chart

The ABACUS-19 financial benchmarking survey will open in May 2020. Watch Bookselling This Week for details.