(At retail prices)
In 2009, book sales in Hungary amounted to 64,172,773,000 HUF.*
(This was the first time since 1996, the year statistics on book sales were first compiled, that the amount spent on books in Hungary decreased as compared to the preceding year. Book sales registered in 2008 amounted to 67,611,059,000 HUF, which means a decrease of 5.09 %. As the official inflation rate published by the Hungarian Statistical Office was 4.1 % in 2009, book sales actually decreased by nearly 10 %.)
Sales achieved by the 185 publishers supplying data in 2009 amounted to 58,164,773,000 HUF or 90.64 % of all book sales.
Sales achieved by imported books amounted to 4,308,000,000 HUF.
Estimated sales of small enterprises and institutions publishing only a few titles amounted to 700,000,000 HUF.
According to our estimate, sales of 1,000,000,000 HUF were achieved with half-price and discount books in 2009.
Book sales by categories
1. Sales of public education textbooks and language textbooks essentially remained at the same level as in the preceding year, totalling 16,963,770,000 HUF or 26.4 % of all book sales. (In 2008, sales in this segment amounted to 17,255,589,000 HUF or 25.5 % of all sales.)
2. The position of popular science books worsened significantly in 2009, with a registered decrease in sales of nearly 1.5 billion HUF. The 8.8 % decrease equals sales amounting of 14,890,287,000 HUF or 23.2 % of the market total. (In 2008, sales of popular science publications totalled 16,333,716,000 HUF or 24.1 % of all book sales.)
3. Sales of belles-lettres or fiction publications continued to grow despite the economic crisis, thus this segment maintained its market position, which is exceptionally strong both nationally and internationally. Its market share of 20.08 % was achieved with sales totalling 12,889,077,000 HUF. (In 2008, fiction sales amounted to 12,032,484,000 HUF or 17.8 % of the market total.)
4. The most severe decline occurred in the segment of specialist books, scientific books, encyclopedias, dictionaries and other publications used in higher education. Thus, the dramatic loss of market that seems to be unstoppable since the beginning of the millennium continued. In 2009, sales in this segment only amounted to 6,294,671,000 HUF or 9.8 % of all book sales. (In 2008, sales totalled 7,172,683,000 HUF, which was equal to 10.6 % of the market total. It is an indication of the extent of decline in this segment, which is of essential importance for secondary and higher education, culture and self-education, that sales decreased by more than 4 billion HUF over the past six to seven years!)
5. Fortunately, the increase in the segment of books for children and young people continued, producing sales of 9,157,576,000 HUF or 14.3 % of the market total and thus an increase of 6.6 % despite the economic crisis. (In 2008, sales in this segment amounted to 8,591,176,000 HUF or 12.7 % of all book sales.)
The statistical system established fourteen years ago treated the market for CDs, CD-ROMs and audio books, a new category that has emerged since then, as a single segment, which has been enriched by e-books that have become more and more widespread over the past five years. These hardly comparable segments showed different trends in 2009. Audio book sales decreased significantly by 20 %, the market share of CDs and CD-ROMs decreased by as much as 40 %, whilst the market share of contents distributed on electronic media or online and of royalty-free databases continued to grow. In 2009, sales achieved with non-paper-based books amounted to 3,977,392,000 HUF or 6.2 % of the market total.
Sales of imported books decreased in 2009, with sales of books in foreign languages from abroad totalling 4,308,000,000 HUF or 6.7 % of all book sales. (In 2008, the figures were 4,838,000,000 HUF and 7.2 %.)
The market for half-price books accounted for 1.56 % of all book sales in 2009.
Concentration in the publishing sector continued in 2009:
In 2009, 15 enterprises produced 59.24 % of publishers' total sales,
the 47 market-leading publishers produced 79.74 % of all book sales,
and 185 enterprises achieved 90.64 % of all book sales.
The market share of foreign-owned publishers operating in Hungary has decreased. In 2009, they achieved sales amounting to 19,830,554,000 HUF or 30.9 % of all book sales. (In 2008, their sales volume was 21,451,749,000 HUF and their market share was 31.7 %.)
*This figure does not include or only partially includes discounts granted by booksellers and publishers, which means that-according to our estimate-customers in Hungary paid about 4-5 billion less than the retail prices printed on the books.