BPIF reveals latest UK print industry stats

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Wednesday 21 June 2017

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The BPIF has updated its 'UK Printing - The Facts and Figures' publication, which reveals the latest industry statistics.

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Jardine: "There is still a lot of printing being done, and it’s a considerable and important industry"

The data that makes up the leaflet has been collected via a range of official sources, including the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Smithers Pira, Nielsen and Two Sides, among others, and refers to the state of the UK print industry in 2016.

The publication sets out detailed information on the structure of the industry by region and product, as well as covering its economic importance and its productivity. The effectiveness and sustainability of print as a modern communications medium is also highlighted.

According to the publication, the UK is the world’s fifth largest producer of printed products, behind the US, China, Japan and Germany and ahead of countries including France, India and Italy.

The industry had a turnover of £13.8bn in 2016, up from the £13.5bn reported for 2014 in the previous edition of the publication in 2015.

BPIF research manager Kyle Jardine said: “There’s no inflationary adjustments between years and the flyers are not really making comparisons from year to year but are rather showing a snapshot of the latest available data.

“That said, the industry turnover is holding up – print is still important, there is still a lot of printing being done, and it’s a considerable and important industry.”

The industry consisted of 116,000 employees working across 8,400 companies in 2016. The 2015 publication recorded 122,000 employees working across 8,600 companies in 2014.

“There has been industry consolidation but start-ups have been happening, more so in the digital and wide-format space than in traditional litho printing. Out of those 8,400 companies, nearly 900 are less than two years old,” said Jardine.

The industry also made a per annum capital investment of £700m and recorded a gross added value of £5.8bn in 2016.

Meanwhile, the latest productivity statistics from the ONS show that the industry’s productivity is significantly greater than that of the average for the whole economy.

“We’re a manufacturing industry that takes raw materials and converts them into something that’s worth considerably more value,” said Jardine.

“The industry has also continued to invest and, though it’s continuing to consolidate, companies have been making more efficient use of the employment that’s left, which is no doubt seen as positive productivity.”

He added the BPIF’s latest data also shows that the the average age of a print industry worker is now estimated at 43, the most common age band is 35 to 44 and around 9% of the workforce are under the age of 24.

The publication is sent to all MPs and Lords to inform them about the role print plays and the value that it has to the national economy. All BPIF members are sent a copy and copies can also be downloaded from the BPIF website.

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