Automation suppliers continue to see robust revenue growth, posting overall year-to-year gains of nearly 6 percent versus the third quarter of 2017. While the market is well along on its recovery from the oil price collapse of a few years ago, Q3 growth was relatively modest, especially on the heels of several quarters of double- or near-double-digit growth. The discrete automation sector slowed somewhat on reduced activity in the smartphone and electronics sectors. On the process side, the effect of recent acquisitions was less pronounced than in past quarters and many suppliers saw more muted organic revenue growth. Order activity displayed similar behavior to revenues, with slower growth in Q3.
Suppliers Show Slower Revenue Growth in Q3
Compared to the third quarter of 2017, the total combined revenues of automation suppliers to both the process and discrete manufacturing industries grew by 5.7 percent (see Figure 2). Process industry suppliers saw their combined revenues grow by 6 percent; while suppliers to the discrete industries saw a 5.6 percent increase in combined revenues. GE Power, due to its large size but relatively small automation component, has an out-sized effect on the overall market (revenues fell by 33 percent), so we have removed it from the overall analysis, though we will continue to cover it in the writeup that follows.
Among suppliers that report order intake, many saw large increases in activity during the quarter. On average, orders grew by 6.5 percent during the quarter (Figure 3). As with revenues, we have excluded GE from our analysis, which saw an 18 percent drop in orders.
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Keywords: Automation Suppliers, Quarterly Results, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Latin America, North America, ARC Advisory Group.