2011

BOOK SALES IN HUNGARY IN 2011
(At retail prices)
In 2011, book sales amounted to 59,528,422,000 HUF.*

* (Registered book sales in 2010 amounted to 61,571,635,000 HUF, which means a decrease of 3.32 % in one year. The official inflation rate published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office was 3.9 % in 2011, thus book sales actually decreased by more than 7 % last year. Taking into consideration that in the last year of prosperity in the book market, 2008, registered book sales amounted to 67.611.059.000 HUF, book sales nominally decreased by 13.6 % over the past three years. Considering furthermore that the official inflation rate in the period from 2009 until 2011 was exactly 13 %, gives the dramatic result that the Hungarian book market suffered a loss exceeding 26 % over the past three years!)

Sales achieved by the 185 publishers supplying data in 2011 totalled 54,210,112,000 HUF or 91 % of all book sales.

Sales achieved with imported books in 2011 amounted to 3,918,310,000 HUF.

Estimated sales of enterprises not supplying data and of small enterprises and institutions only publishing a few titles amounted to 600,000,000 HUF.

According to our estimate, sales of 800,000,000 HUF were achieved with half-price and discount books.

Book sales by categories:

1. Sales of public education textbooks and language textbooks increased by 1 % in 2011, totalling 16,785,137,000 HUF or 28.2 % of all book sales. (In 2010, sales in this segment amounted to 16,605,301,000 HUF or 26.97 % of all sales.)

2. The position of popular science books remained essentially the same in 2011 as in 2010. Sales merely decreased by 1.9 % and totalled 14,503,178,000 HUF or 24.36 % of all book sales. (In 2010, sales of popular science books totalled 14,783,590,000 HUF or 24 % of all book sales.)

3. Sales of belles-lettres or fiction titles slightly decreased by 1 % as compared to the preceding year. The market share of this segment of more than 20 % is an exceptionally strong one in international comparison. Sales achieved in this segment amounted to 12,530,140,000 HUF in 2011. (In 2010, fiction titles achieved sales of 12,668,230,000 HUF or 20.57 % of all book sales.)

4. Seemingly, there was no change in sales of specialist books, scientific books, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and other publications used in higher education. The segment's market share of 8.96 % even represents a tiny increase as compared to the 8.66 % in 2010. The total sales figure of 5.335.147.000 HUF, too, is nearly the same as in the preceding year (5.334.282.000 HUF). (However, statistics are somewhat misleading, as the number of specialist and scientific titles continued to decrease significantly in 2011 according to the data published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, and the segment's sales figure is only compensated by the popularity of dictionaries and encyclopaedias.)

5. The segment of books for children and young people shows an amazing nominal increase of 30.5 % with total sales amounting to 9,963,280,000 HUF (after 7,633,134,000 HUF in 2010). (Although there was indeed a substantial development in this segment, the growth rate is not realistic. This is due to the fact that in 2010 one of the largest children's book publishers supplied erroneous data, and by the time the error was discovered it was too late to modify statistics. Since, after correcting calculations, it turned out that instead of an increase there was a decrease of 16.6 % in this segment in 2010, last year's increase only amounts to 13 to 14 %, which is still outstanding as compared to the sales trends in the other segments of the Hungarian book market!)

In line with the events in the Hungarian book market, imports of foreign language books decreased by 3.68 % in 2011. Sales in this segment amounted to 3.918.310.000 HUF or 6.58 % of all book sales. (The figures for 2010 were 4.067.980.000 HUF and 5.57 %.)

The statistical questionnaire developed almost two decades ago treats the market for CDs, CD-ROMs and audio books, an even newer category, as a single segment - that was completed by digital books that have become more and more popular in recent years. Last year we tried to separate the sales of different types of books according to media. The market share of CDs and CD-ROMs decreased by more than 40 % from 147,450,000 HUF in 2010 to 82,740,000 HUF in 2011. Excluding royalty-free databases, sales of non-paper-based books still amount to less than 500 million HUF. In 2011, Hungarian publishers reported digital book sales of 411,540,000 HUF or merely 0.7 % of all book sales.

The market for half-price books accounted for an estimated 1.34 % of all book sales in 2011.

Concentration in the Hungarian publishing sector showed no significant changes in 2011:

In 2011, 14 enterprises produced 56.65 % of publishers' total sales;
the 38 market-leading publishers produced 76.57 % of all book sales;
the 51 market-leading publishers produced 81.96 % of all book sales;
the 185 publishers supplying data produced 91 % of all book sales.

The market position of foreign-owned publishers operating in Hungary has kept declining. In 2011, they achieved sales amounting to 12,895,110,000 HUF or 21.66 % of all book sales. (In 2010, their market share was 24.3 % with sales totalling 14,956,164,000 HUF.)