04. 02. 2012. 08:58

Hungarian book market: 26 per cent loss in three years

In 2011, Hungarian book market turnover decreased by an additional 3 per cent, László Péter Zentai, managing director of the Hungarian Publishers' and Booksellers’ Association (MKKE), the largest organization of Hungarian book trade told Hungarian press agency MTI.

While in 2010 books were purchased for HUF 61.5 billion (€209.06 million) in Hungary, last year the figure fell to HUF 59.5 billion (€202.2 million), which is a 3.32 per cent decrease.

Book market turnover had already decreased in 2010 in comparison with 2009 figures.

Official inflation rate in 2010 was 3.9 per cent in Hungary, thus the decrease in book market turnover is actually more than 7 per cent.

If we consider that in 2008, the last year of the book market boom in Hungary, the turnover was more than HUF 67.6 billion (€229.77 million), even the nominal decrease was 13.6 per cent in the last three years. If we add that official inflation was exactly 13 per cent between 2009 and 2011, we have to face the dramatic truth that in the last three years book market in Hungary suffered a loss of more than 26 per cent, Zentai said.

The turnover of textbooks used in public education and language books has increased by 1 per cent, whereas the position of non-fiction books has not changed significantly in the course of the last year. Fiction has also preserved its position in the market. The 20 per cent share of literary works is considered very good even according to European standards.

The data for children’s books and literature for youth shows a significant increase of around 13 per cent, whereas the import of foreign-language books has decreased by 3.7 per cent.

The market share of CDs and CD-ROMs has decreased by 40 per cent.

The Hungarian Publishers' and Booksellers’ Association has reported that the structure and the concentration of the Hungarian book market has essentially remained unchanged: in 2011, fourteen leading companies produced 56.65 per cent of publishers’ turnover, and 38 publishers produced more than three fourths of the total turnover.

The market position of publishers with a foreign ownership decreased in the last year; their total turnover was HUF 12.9 billion (€43.8 million), i.e. 21.6 per cent of the total turnover for 2011.

Tags: book market in Hungary