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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 8 August 2006

Key Survey Findings on Wholesale Trade 2004



There were about 35,100 establishments in the wholesale trade industry in 2004. The industry employed about 196,900 workers, or an average of 6 workers per establishment.
Total operating receipts of the wholesale trade industry rose from $518.1 billion in 2003 to $621.8 billion in 2004. It represented an increase of 20.0 per cent, with all major wholesale segments registering double-digit growths.
On a per establishment basis, operating receipts increased by 21.4 per cent during the same period.
Total operating expenditure incurred in 2004 stood at $610.8 billion, an increase of 19.6 per cent over the previous year. Operating expenditure per establishment also rose by 21.1 per cent to $17.4 million in 2004, compared to $14.4 million in 2003.
Total operating surplus rose by 37.8 per cent to $12.3 billion in 2004. The increase was largely contributed by the fuels & chemicals segment. Similarly, operating surplus per establishment also increased from $250,500 in 2003 to $349,300 in 2004.
Total value added generated by the wholesale trade industry amounted to $22.4 billion in 2004, compared to $18.8 billion in 2003. On a per establishment basis, value added of wholesale trade increased by 20.6 per cent from $530,200 in 2003 to $639,400 in 2004.
There were about 17,200 establishments engaged in the wholesaling of household goods and machinery & equipment (Chart 1).
They accounted for 48.9 per cent of total establishments in wholesale trade industry. These two segments were also the largest employers, engaging about 115,000 workers in 2004, or 58.4 per cent of total workforce in the industry.

The fuels & chemicals segment was the largest in terms of operating receipts. It generated $301.0 billion of operating receipts in 2004, accounting for 48.4 per cent of the industry total (Chart 2).
On the other hand, the machinery & equipment segment contributed the largest share of value added, generating $8.6 billion value added in 2004. It accounted for 38.2 per cent of the industry value added.

The largest cost item for wholesale trade industry was the purchases of goods for resale, constituting 86.4 per cent to 98.3 per cent of the total operating expenditure (Table 1).
Wholesalers of household goods and machinery & equipment incurred 4.8 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively of operating expenditure on remuneration, due mainly to the larger number of employees working in these segments.

Profitability Ratio of overall wholesale trade rose slightly higher to 2.0 per cent in 2004, compared to the 1.7 per cent in 2003. The machinery & equipment segment attained the highest profitability ratio of 3.4 per cent (Chart 3).

Cost Effectiveness, as measured by the earnings-expenditure ratio, went up from 1.7 percent in 2003 to 2.0 per cent in 2004 for wholesale trade (Chart 4).
Wholesalers in fuels & chemicals and machinery & equipment segments registered higher cost effectiveness in 2004 compared to the previous year.
Within the industry, machinery & equipment segment was the most cost-effective, registering an earningsexpenditure ratio of 3.5 per cent.

Average Annual Remuneration per Employee for wholesale trade industry rose by 3.0 per cent to $55,700 in 2004 (Table 2).
Fuels & chemicals segment registered the highest remuneration per employee at $110,100 in 2004, compared to the average of $94,400 recorded in the previous year.

Value Added per Worker stood at $114,000 for the overall wholesale trade industry in 2004 (Chart 5).
The fuels & chemicals segment generated the highest value added per worker at $457,700 in 2004. The large increase in the value added per worker was mainly due to the strong growth in operating surplus in the segment.

Small firms with less than 10 workers comprised the majority of establishments (89.1 per cent) in the wholesale trade industry (Table 3).
Medium firms contributed the largest share (48.5 per cent) of operating receipts while large firms attained the highest profitability ratio at 2.4 per cent.


Source: Media Release 8 Aug 2006

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