Starting in 2006 publishing consultant Rüdiger Wischenbart began to systematically analyze the international book industry. In each subsequent year he has produced what he calls, the “Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry,” and it is a regular topic of discussion at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
This year a total of 58 publishing houses or publishing groups with a minimum revenue of 150 million euros each, opened their books to Wischenbart’s team. All together, the publishers account for 56 billion euros in revenue, half of which comes from top ten companies in the ranking: Pearson, Reed Elsevier, ThomsonReuters, Wolters Kluwer, Bertelsmann, Hachette Livre, McGraw-Hill Education, Grupo Planeta, Cengage Learning and Scholastic. For the first time, three Brazilian publishers made the list: Abril Educação (46th), Saraiva (52nd) and FTD (56th).
The Global Ranking is based on official company reports, collated company information and official company data registries. It is an initiative of Livres Hebdo (France), and co-published by Buchreport (Germany), The Bookseller (UK), Publishers Weekly (USA) and PublishNews (Brazil). The ranking is based on a breakdown of revenue derived from all forms of publishing, including books, digital material and professional information, while excluding magazines, wire services and corporate publishing. Revenues from direct retail operations are also excluded.
When the data is crunched, it becomes clear that STM publishers generate the largest amount of revenue, with sales of 13,191 million euros in 2010 (or 43% of the industry). STM is followed by trade books with 9,555 million in sales (31%) and Education, with 8,230 million (27%). The report also shows that in recent years the segment of the textbook grew more than the others (from 6,875 million euros in 2008 to 8,230 million euros in 2010). It appears that the economic crisis which shook the global book industry from 2008-2009 has finally began to wane.
Brazil and Other Developing Markets
While this is not the first time that emerging countries were included in the report — previous years included publishing groups from China, Japan and Korea — this year Wischenbart made an extra effort to include Brazil and Russia.
The three Brazilian companies — Abril Educação (231,8 million euros revenue), Saraiva (188 million euro revenue) and FTD (161,6 million euros revenue) — each have a strong focus on education and retail (though, as noted above, only the income of their publishing and educational business was included).
According to the 2011 report, publishers from new and emerging markets (including the three Brazilian companies) together made over 580 million euros in 2010. The importance of their contribution to the ongoing growth of the global publishing business can not be overlooked.
With book prices at only a fraction of those in Europe, Japan or North America, the total market value in the emerging countries such as China, Russia and Brazil represent, by comparison, a far larger number of consumers (and readers) and more copies produced and distributed than in markets in the more affluent parts of the world with a similar turnover.
Brazil’s Top Trio
What the top three Brazilian publishers have in common is that they all publish K-12 textbooks, which is the largest publishing segment in Brazil and represents 51% of all sales, fueled primarily by government bulk purchases. The sales account for some US$401 million annually, with books going to over 40 million children in public schools and some more in private schools.
Abril Educação (1st in Brazil, 46th in the world) is part of Abril Group, which was founded in the 1950s and is one of the most powerful media conglomerates in Latin America, with 54 magazines, the television channel MTV, and the largest printing facility in Latin America. Abril Educação is a partnership by Ática and Scipione publishing houses and is responsible for many of the country’s most popular teaching methodologies, including the Anglo and SER teaching methods, the Anglo preparatory course for University entrance examination, ETB schools and technical teaching methods, and the Siga preparatory course for public service entrance examinations. In the domestic market, Grupo Abril is also a leader in the textbook publishing segment. In all, the company has published over 3,000 titles and holds 29% of the Brazilian market. In 2008, it produced 37 million books.
For almost 100 years, Saraiva (2nd in Brazil, 52nd in the world) has been building its leadership in the Brazilian book industry. It is the top bookseller (with nearly 100 shops around the country), and is the leading publisher of law books, is well positioned in the textbook segment, and expanding into digital. In 2010, Saraiva created a new imprint for trade books -– Benvirá. Along with it, the publishing house launched a literary award –- Prêmio Benvirá de Literatura, which has just awarded its first winner: Nihonjin by Oscar Nakasato, which tells the story of the private life of Hideo, a Japanese immigrant to Brazil following WWII.
FTD was created in 1902 to support the Marist Brothers education efforts in Brazil; the Catholic religious order has been running schools in Brazil since 1897. FTD is specialized in textbooks for K-12 segment and has published more than 4,000 books from around 1,100 authors. It is the owner of FTD teaching method, adopted by 10,000 students throughout the country.