Negative turnover growth for publishing companies

06/03/2014 15:00

Turnover generated by publishing houses in the fourth quarter of 2013 was considerably down from one year previously. The 2013 annual turnover was also far below the level of 2012. The number of bankruptcies was nearly twice as high in 2013 as in 2012.

Negative turnover growth during the past half decade

Turnover generated by book, newspaper and magazine publishers was 9 percent down in the last quarter of 2013 from the same period in 2012. Annual turnover slumped by more than 6 percent in 2013. Since the onset of the economic crisis late 2008, publishing houses have suffered a total turnover loss of approximately 20 percent.

The recession and the introduction of e-books have had a negative impact on publishing companies. Magazine and newspaper publishers have suffered from declining subscriber numbers and ad revenue in recent years.

Turnover publishing companies

Turnover publishing companies

Number of bankruptcies substantially higher

Last year, 71 publishing houses went bankrupt; considerably more than in prior years, when the bankruptcy toll was several tens lower on an annual basis. Despite the high amount of closedowns, the overall number of publishing companies grew by 6 percent in the last five years. Alongside various large publishing houses, there are many small-scale businesses engaged in e-publishing.

Bankruptcies publishing companies

Bankruptcies publishing companies

Negative turnover and staff prospects in first quarter of 2014

The Economic survey conducted by Statistics Netherlands shows that publishers are pessimistic about their turnover results in the first quarter of 2014. Nearly 20 percent of publishers anticipate negative turnover growth. Nearly 60 percent also anticipate staff reductions. The number of negative answers in the survey reached an unprecedented high in the first quarter of 2014.

Publishers’ expectations over the 1st quarter of 2014

Publishers’ expectations over the 1st quarter of 2014

Elena van Kampen