2019 Wholesale Revenues Rise

The operating revenue of Canadian wholesalers rose two per cent in 2019, reaching an all-time high of $1.1 trillion, says Statistics Canada. Seven of the nine wholesale subsectors saw increases in revenue as the cost of goods sold, which represents the cost of acquiring goods for resale, grew in line with revenue to reach $947.7 billion in 2019. As a result, gross margins for wholesalers (the difference between total operating revenue and the cost of goods sold, expressed as a percentage of total operating revenue) were unchanged, at 16.8 per cent. Total operating expenses, which include labour remuneration, were up 4.5 per cent to $136.9 billion. Total operating expenses increased in all subsectors. Overall, the operating profits of wholesalers as a percentage of total operating revenue decreased from 5.1 per cent in 2018 to 4.8 per cent in 2019, as revenue growth failed to keep up with rising expenses. The only subsectors to see their operating revenue decline were the petroleum and petroleum product subsector and the building material and supplies subsector. The revenue of building material and supplies wholesalers was down 2.9 per cent to $107.3 billion, as wholesalers of lumber, millwork, hardware, and other building supplies saw their revenue decline by 6.8 per cent to $52.3 billion.