The recently released 2003 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Distributor PROFIT Survey Report indicates major differences between performances of typical and high-profit truck equipment distribution firms. Of them all, the difference in return on assets (ROA) is most striking. Said Dr. Albert Bates, president of the research firm Profit Planning Group (PPG), Boulder, CO, "As a measurement of the economic viability of a firm, ROA is the single most valuable measure of a company’s overall performance. Companies that cannot produce an adequate ROA face an extremely difficult future."The typical participating firm had an ROA of 1.7% based on 2002 fiscal year data. This means every dollar invested in the firm produced a pre-tax profit of $0.017. In sharp contrast, high-profit participants produced an ROA of 15.5%. Every dollar of asset investment produced a return of $0.155 cents in profit before taxes. For a company with $4,017,249 in sales, the difference is a profit of just $24,103 for the typical firm versus $188,811 for the high-profit firm.The Report provides data that truck equipment distribution firms will find valuable in benchmarking the profitability of their businesses. Components include an explanation of statistics and executive summary containing an overview of the study with emphasis between the typical and high-profit truck equipment distributor firm. Individual sections cover return on investment, merchandising profile, income statement, expenses in relationship to gross margin, balance sheet, financial ratios, asset productivity ratios, growth and cash sufficiency ratios, operating productivity ratios, employee productivity ratios, line of business analysis, market area analysis, trend analysis and a summary of ratio definitions. Results are tabulated and prepared for the NTEA by PPG. To order a copy of the 2003 NTEA Distributor PROFIT Survey Report, call 1-800-441-NTEA; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.ntea.com (click on "Products and Services"). The Report retails for $100 NTEA members; $200 nonmembers.