Which is the real value of the UK printing industry?

By | July 8, 2014

Which is the real value of the UK printing industry? For companies everywhere in the world printing represents a vital medium.  As part of the UK’s economy, the printing industry is both essential and exciting. Producing a vast range of products that are important in our everyday life, it serves all areas of business and leisure.

Print is used to communicate information, help to demonstrate commercial advantage, creating impact and making headlines, in business.  In the sheer competitive marketplace of today, print uses eye catching designs to help companies stand out. But the printing sector also produces large amounts of material for UK’s education system, entertainment and other sectors, thus serving every part of the  economy.

Demand for printed products increases continuously, despite predictions of a reduction, as a result of the impact of electronic media. Back in 2004, a large part of figure for total UK sales came from sales of advertising literature, books, brochures and leaflets. Nevertheless, the printing industry uses the latest technology. As related to printing companies the tendency is to become specialists within their field, because each type of end product  requires slightly different machinery.

Representing a vital medium for education, entertainment and information, the printing, packaging and graphics communications industry makes a substantial contribution to the UK economy as a whole. The printing industry is part of the UK’s fifth largest manufacturing industry. For anyone interested in the domain below are listed some key facts relating to the print industry:

The level of activity in the economy derives the demand for printed products. Due to this fact, the print industry is regarded as a bellwether for the economy. Almost every aspect of the economy from central and local government to financial services, retailing, distribution, travel & tourism and manufacturing is served by print. The companies’  value of sales in the printing industry is situated around £14.5 billion plus an approximate Gross Value Added of £7 billion. The figures mentioned are dominated by sales of advertising literature and books, brochures and leaflets.

Companies are spread throughout the UK. The printing industry employs around 140,000 people in about 10,500 facilities. Most companies (75%) employ less than 10 people and account for 20% of industry turnover whilst 0.5% of companies employ more than 250 and account for 25% of industry turnover.  Print firms that employ more than 50 people are only about 450. Almost 90% of companies in the industry employ fewer than 20 employees while the largest 400 account for 45% of all employees. Currently the printing industry goes through a period of consolidation.

Referring to their spreading area, printing companies can be found in every town throughout the UK. As everyone should have expected London has the greatest concentration, followed by the south-east of England. Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Bristol are also key locations to a significant amount of printers.

If we take a look at the top 5 UK companies dealing in this sector according to PrintWeek’s Annual Top 500 Survey, the rankings present as follows: DS Smith (UK Print, Paper & Packaging), Williams Lea Group, De La Rue, Chesapeake UK Holdings and British Polythene Industries.

Anyway if someone is looking for a specialized company in fields like: digital printing, screen printing, flexographic printing and so on there are many sources of information at hand but not all are as reliable as a well planned UK printing companies data base and one place to find it is: http://printing-companies.org/printers-in-uk/.

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