UK magazine publishing market to decline over the next five years

The UK magazine publishing market has been forecast to decline at a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.4% over the next five years, with revenues expected to total £6.65 billion. This will be in stark contrast with the misfortune awaiting the rest of the publishing sector, which will fare far worse.

In 2012-13, industry revenue is forecast to decline at a CAGR of 7.1% to £6.78 billion. Over the five years through 2012-13, revenue is expected to fall by 4.5%.

The industry has always been somewhat volatile, though the cuts to advertising budgets really hit magazine publishers in 2008-09, dragging down the long-term trend.

During this time, operators have attempted to maintain margins amid falling circulations, by cutting costs through closing offices, discontinuing unprofitable magazines and laying off employees. Some businesses have even been forced to fold, particularly over the past three years.

The top four firms in the UK magazine publishing industry, including IPC Media, Haymarket and Conde Nast International, account for approximately 16.6% of industry revenue. The industry is considered to have a low level of concentration, although slightly higher than the mix seen five years ago.

Consolidation of players has slowed since the economic downturn. However, this trend is anticipated to return as the UK economy recovers, and companies merge to take advantage of economies of scale that exist for larger firms.