Understanding the number of establishments that produce print, at a cost or for-a-profit, is an important requirement for any print-related market sizing, planning, and forecasting project. In recent years, the printing industry has been undergoing significant consolidation and the process is still ongoing. The number of companies is expected to decrease by two percent- fivepercent per year, depending on the industry. The revenue will hold up somewhat better as the value per print item and revenues from value added services tend to rise, although slowly.
Commercial printers account for the bulk of shipments, with more than half of that revenue. In-house printing sites and packaging printers add about 10 percent each to the total European revenue, while other types of establishments contribute significantly less. More than 140,000 establishments are active in the printing industry, although almost all of them are small.
In terms of numbers of companies as well as the revenue, Germany has the largest printing industry in Europe. The four largest countries (i.e., France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K.) contribute about two-thirds of the printing revenue in Western Europe, with the remaining 12 countries sharing the other third. Given their share of revenue, Italy and Spain have a very large number of establishments.
The European printing industry is very sizeable, but dominated by small companies. The competition through electronic channels is taking its toll, as advertising spending is moving to electronic media and printed documents are replaced by electronic ones. While the impact of the financial crisis in 2009 overstated that decline, the outlook is not positive despite a short-term rebound.
Nevertheless, many companies thrive in a challenging business environment. With almost €150 billion in revenue, printing remains a sizeable industry. In fact, there are many niches that offer growth opportunities and those can be found in almost all industry segments. Print service providers will need to adapt not only to the competition within the printing industry, but across all media by working on adding value to all of their products.
The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends’ Sizing the European Printing Industry forecast. The report provides an overview of the size and structure of the Western European printing and related industries, including the number of establishments and the value of shipments. Much of the data is based on official statistical sources, which have been assembled and edited by InfoTrends to make the data comparable across countries and industries.