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New Export Figures Show Global Reach of UK Publishing Industry

New Export Figures Show Global Reach of UK Publishing Industry

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8th April 2016

New figures released today by The Publishers Association show the international demand of UK published material and how educational publishing remains the powerhouse of the UK publishing industry’s export business.   

Total export revenues were £1.42 billion in 2015 but a combination of education, academic and ELT (English Language Training) accounted for two-thirds of this.  Over 35% of physical book exports came from Europe, with sales to the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and South America increasing.  

The overall figure is slightly down on previous years, but the figures show sales of most consumer publishing categories holding up strongly in a challenging macro-economic climate with both exports sales of fiction and non-fiction titles seeing an increase.  

Commenting, Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of The Publishers Association, said: 

“These figures demonstrate the continuing international demand for UK published material, whether that be the latest fiction bestseller, our world renowned scientific journals or textbooks for the classroom.  At a time when the Government is looking to increase the number of businesses selling their wares overseas, they could do a lot worse than look to the success of the publishing industry as a model.  

“Publishers have not been exempt from the fragile global economic environment facing all export businesses.  Strong growth in developing markets such as the Middle East and South America has been very welcome, but the macroeconomic difficulties facing the North American and European markets have not surprisingly had an impact.” 




Notes to Editors 

  1. The data is extracted from the forthcoming PA Statistics Yearbook 2015, which are based on grossed up figures from the ongoing PA Sales Monitor Scheme (PASM) data collection scheme. PASM records the physical and digital sales of publishers who are estimated to account for approximately three-quarters of total UK publishers’ sales. The data from PASM have been applied to the results of one-off benchmarking exercise to calculate a base for all UK publishers.

  2. Publisher export sales of books: physical and digital) (net invoiced value) were £1.42bn in 2015, a fall of 3% from 2014. Physical sales were £1.2bn. Digital sales were £218m.

  3. Fiction sales increased slightly – up to £170m from £169m in 2014; non-fiction / reference export sales also increased – up nearly 6% on 2014.
  4. The European market remained the strongest performer in terms of physical sales accounting for over 35% of total export revenues. The second best performing market was East and South Asia.
  5. The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership comprises over 100 companies from across the consumer, academic and education publishing sectors.