Top 10 Industries

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The UK is the world's fifth largest producer of printed products.

The greatest market share of printed material, in terms of turnover, now lies with advertising literature and business stationery (32%) followed by newspapers, magazines, books and brochures (21%).

The remaining share consists of: printed packaging like cartons and labels (20%); printing onto non-paper and board (11%); "other" printing (11%); and "security" printing, including banknotes and passports (5%).

Key insights

According to the BPIF (British Printing Industries Federation), the sector has an annual turnover of £13.8bn and employs more than 116,000 employees nationally.

Despite this, the number of businesses operating in the printing sector has fell from 14,445 businesses to 11,630 between 2010 and 2017.

Printing continues to be affected by the inexorable rise of digital media and this is reflected in the decreasing number of businesses operating in the sector.

Printing infographic

In much the same way that consumers are downloading music and films rather than purchasing DVDs and CDs, many are opting, for example, to read their news online rather than buy newspapers or download books onto handheld mobile devices.

Understandably, this trend is having a significant impact on the printing industry with the circulation of national daily newspapers having fallen from 9.2 million in 2010 to six million in 2016.

What does the future hold?

Though it may appear in decline, there’s still very much a requirement for print, for both consumers and businesses.

Printed packaging and labels is one area which is expected to buck the trend, with steady growth forecast in the coming years and a particular upturn in demand from the pharmaceutical and food and drink sectors.

In particular, print firms are seeing new opportunities in customised print services, for instance creating personalised labels on products such as Coke and Nutella, which have been enabled by modern digital press technology.

For further information on the sourced references for the Business Trends data, outside of the Business Population Estimates 2017 and Nomis official labour market statistics 2010 and 2017, please download the information here (PDF, 240MB)