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CE Pro 100 2009

The recession is finally hitting the industry’s highest-revenue integrators. Data for the 11th annual list shows installations down 5 percent, but revenue-per-employee is up.

The largest custom installation companies in the industry are not coated in Teflon after all. After being insulated from the initial housing cycle downturn in 2007, the CE Pro 100 integration companies reported a downturn of 11.7 percent in 2008.

The average company on the list earned $6.59 million last year, down from $7.4 million. Correspondingly, the average number of installations was also lower, by 5 percent. The data reflects the first across-the-board, category-wide downturn among CE Pro 100 integrators since the inception of the list 11 years ago. (The list only had 50 companies for the first two years.) Taken as a whole, however, 2008 statistics are somewhat encouraging when you consider that many other industries would be elated to show a revenue decline of only 11.7 percent.

Moreover, some companies actually showed increases this year. Also, the average revenue per employee rose by 2 percent — a sign that integrators are tightening their belts to be more productive with fewer employees.