1363.0 - Book Publishers, Australia, 2001-02  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/09/2003   
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September 12, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

130 Million books sold in 2001-02

A total of 130 million books, with a sales value of $1,341m, were sold by book publishers or businesses with major book publishing activity in 2001-02, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

This represents an increase of 23% in the number of books sold from 2000-01 (105 million books) to 2001-02. The increase means that the number of books sold by publishers has returned to the level of sales reported in 1999-2000 (129 million books).

The 238 businesses involved in book publishing in 2001-02 sold $1,329m of printed books covering education ($534m), non-fiction ($412m), fiction ($246m) and children's books ($137m). A further $12m of electronic and audio books were also sold.

The vast majority of books were sold to the domestic market (86% or $1,155m). The remainder (14% or $186m) were exported overseas, primarily to the United States of America ($68m), New Zealand ($37m) and the United Kingdom ($27m).

The 20 largest book publishers in terms of income earned an average of $55m in 2001-02, while the remaining book publishers earned an average of $2m. Overall the 238 businesses involved in book publishing earned an average of $6m each.

Income from book sales, combined with a further $130m from other activities like sales of other goods, services and book royalties, brought total income of the businesses to $1,471m in 2001-02. The 20 largest book publishers (8% of businesses) sold 73% of books and earned 74% ($1,093m) of the total income.

Total expenses for the 238 businesses were $1,389m. The largest cost was for printing ($288m or 21% of total expenses) the majority of which occurred in Australia ($160m). This was followed by expenditure on wages and salaries ($233m). These businesses also spent $195m on imported books. The largest 20 book publishers incurred 75% ($1,036m) of the total expenses.

While the overall number of books sold and the associated income from book sales increased in 2001-02, higher levels of expenditure meant the operating profit of businesses fell marginally from $63m in 2000-01 to $61m in 2001-02. The profit margin of businesses involved in book publishing fell from 4.6% to 4.1%.

Further details are available in Book Publishers, Australia, 2001-02 (cat. no. 1363.0).