2005 Canadian Book Publishing Statistics

The book publishing industry recorded total revenues of just
over $2.4 billion in 2005
, up only 1.6% from 2004. This was in sharp
contrast to the 19% growth rate that occurred from 2000 to 2004.

Despite the lackluster performance nationally, total revenue gains
were strong in the West with British Columbia (+19.9%), Saskatchewan
(+9.1%) and Alberta (+8.7%) outpacing the national average.

In contrast, publishers in the Atlantic provinces lost ground as
revenues declined by 5.2%. Ontario saw a small 2.2% decrease in revenue
from 2004 while Quebec had an increase of 6.8%.

Despite stagnant revenue growth, profits for book publishers were up
in 2005. Total profit for the industry grew from $227 million
to $285 million in 2005. The industry's total profit margin increased
from 10.1% to 11.9%.

Companies in Ontario and Quebec accounted for the majority of the
book publishing industry's profit. They earned $270 million of the
industry's $285 million profit. They also led the industry with profit
margins of 11.0% and 13.1% respectively. British Columbia was next with
a profit margin 7.8%.

Salaries, wages and benefits accounted for 20.9% of total industry expenses, up marginally from the previous year.

The top 10 publishers in the industry earned 52% of the total
revenue and had a profit margin of 15.8%. The comparable figures
for 2004 were 51% of revenues and a profit margin of 14.0%.

(Thanks to Cabot Yu for the tip.)

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    But the stats aren't entirely accurate, according to many publishers. I hear.

    Posted 09 Apr 2007 at 8:31 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    There are lies, there are damned lies and then there are statistics.
    Although these come from StatsCan so that's about as authoritative as it gets. Do you know – is it the methodology they disagree with or what specifically are they having issue with?

    Posted 10 Apr 2007 at 12:42 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Well, if you look at the actual data sets compiled by Stats Canada, they make no sense. Which is to say, they are reporting numbers that are inaccurate (both in the number of publishers in each province, the kind of publishing each does; and I have no idea how they compile their income or sales statistics, because according to publishers in BC, AB, and SK, those numbers are really wonky). I'm not sure where Stats Can got the actual data sets. I can't say much about the methodology, just the baseline stats derived from data that appears to be inaccurate.
    It's the same problem publishers have been having with this kind of report from Stats Can, for the last several years, I guess.

    Posted 11 Apr 2007 at 4:07 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I haven't looked at the data sets but wonder, is the disagreement is partly over things like the definition of “what is a publisher?” The SPG counts 50+ “publishers” in the province (or whatever the number is now) but StatsCan doesn't count the half of that number who are self-publishers or all the small publishers (<4 books a year). It's a philosophical argument and I'm with you (I think) in that you're better off being inclusive if you want to be accurate but I also realise that you have to draw a line somewhere.
    As for income and sales data, not sure if this is allowed but I assumed they were taking data from information that publishers submit to DCH for BPIDP. Or if that's not allowed, they might independently call publishers across the country and ask them directly for the numbers since presumably, they would have them at hand. Might be a good one to ask Nik.

    Posted 14 Apr 2007 at 3:18 pm

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