BOOK SALES IN HUNGARY IN 2014
(At retail prices)
At the end of 2012, the Hungarian government centralized the distribution of public-school textbooks to schools, and put this task into the hands of a single state-owned company (Könyvtárellátó Nonprofit Kft.). Then, by the end of 2013, textbook publishing was also nationalized, and thus, the market of public-school textbooks was declared to be closed. With these actions the government reduced the Hungarian book market by 26.24%.
All the figures in this document were converted from HUF to EUR by using the central exchange rate of the respective years: HUF 296 in 2013 and HUF 300 in 2014.
Without public-school textbooks, the turnover of the free circulation of the book market in 2014 was EUR 147,973,666, which means a nominal increase of 0.95% compared to last year's figures (EUR 148,562,435 – of course, because of the rise of the exchange rate, the EUR figure does not show this). We do not have valid information on the public-school textbook sales, since we did not receive any data from either the nationalized textbook publishers or the official retailer, Könyvtárellátó Nonprofit Kft. (From the public report of Könyvtárellátó Nonprofit Kft., in August 2015 we managed to determine the data on textbook sales in 2014: 2353 titles were published with a total turnover of EUR 53,286,993). Seeing that the official rate of inflation in 2014 was -0.9 %, the actual increase of the book market above inflation was nearing 2%.
The market segment with the biggest turnover in 2014 was – again – belles-lettres, specifically: literary fiction. The gross turnover of this segment in 2014 was EUR 46,226,133, making up 31.2% of the total turnover of the book market. The growth rate of this segment in 2014 was 0.76% volt. (In 2013, the turnover of the segment was EUR 46,496,479, which was 31,3% of the total turnover of the book market.)
The gross turnover of the popular science books segment in 2014 was EUR 44,862,553, making up 30.3% of the total turnover of the book market. This means a nominal increase of 1.2% compared to 2013.
A slight decrease was observed in the market segment of specialist books, scientific books, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and other publications used in higher education. The gross turnover of this segment decreased by 1.7% in 2014: it was EUR 18,584,956, making up 12.6 % of the total turnover of the book market. (In 2013, the gross turnover was EUR 19,158,364.)
Children's books and youth fiction is still one of the key segments on the Hungarian book market. The gross turnover of this segment was EUR 35,224,823, which shows an 1.8% increase compared to the figures of 2013. With this amount, this segment makes up 23.8% of the total turnover of the book market.
After some years of continuous decrease, import of foreign language books has shown a decided increase in 2014. Including imported textbooks, the gross turnover of this segment in 2014 was EUR 12,085,163, making up 8.2% of the total turnover of the market. This means a nominal increase of 7.96%.
In 2014, the turnover of books published on other media (e-books, CD-ROMs and audio books) made up 2.08% of the total turnover of the market, with EUR 3,075,100. Although in our annual statistical questionnaire we are separating the turnover of printed books and the turnover of books published on other media, many publishing houses still do not separate these figures when they are supplying their data. Because of this reason we can only guess at the turnover of e-books: by our estimate, it made up probably 1% of the total turnover of the market in 2014.
In order to compile the statistics of the book market turnover of 2014, we used the statistical data report of 183 Hungarian publishing companies. By our estimate, the turnover of half-price books in 2014 was around EUR 2,666,666, and the estimated turnover of those publishers and institutions who only publish a couple of titles a year was around EUR 1,733,333.
Now that the biggest public-school textbook publishers are discounted, the number of those publishers that make an annual turnover above EUR 3,333,333 (HUF 1 billion) decreased. Now 12 publishing houses reach this level, together producing 46% of the total turnover of the market. 42 publishing houses produced 79.3% of all book sales, and 53 publishing houses produced 85% of them.
It is worthy of note that while 10 years ago publishing houses of foreign ownership made up a quarter of the total turnover of the market, in 2014 Hungarian branches of foreign publishing houses and joint ventures made up only 9.5% of the market, with a gross turnover of EUR 14,075,936.