The results of the 2002-03 Book Publishers Survey were released in August 2004 - the latest in a series of ABS publications on the book publishing industry, which dates back to 1994. The 2002-03 survey collected data from 236 businesses whose main activity was book publishing, as well as a further 10 businesses which generated $2m or more in income from book publishing, even though this was not their main activity.
These 246 businesses sold a combined total of 114.4 million books in 2002-03, contributing to a total income of $1,578.6m, and employing 5,340 people. While the number of books sold was 12% less than in the preceding financial year, the industry's profitability actually improved, with the operating profit before tax growing by 76% to $88.4m, and the profit margin increasing by 2.3 percentage points to 5.6%.
The publication also includes longer-term historical data dating back to 1994 on selected aspects of the industry, which highlight some interesting trends:
Further information is available in Book Publishers, Australia 2002-03 (cat. no. 1363.0).
- Apart from a slight dip in 2000-01, the total sales of books has generally risen steadily from $841.7m in 1994 to $1,369.4m in 2002-03;
- The increase in the value of books sold has not been reflected in the number of books sold, which has fluctuated over the period, peaking at 130.6 million in 1995-96 and falling to its lowest level of 104.3 million in 2000-01;
- The proportion (by value) of Australian titles sold has increased from 59% of total book sales in 2000-01 to 64% 2002-03;
- The proportion (by value) of books exported has increased from 8% of total book sales in 1995-96 to 15% in 2002-03.