Finally, the full results on the turnover in the printing industry in Europe for 2020 are in (index data was the only source for print volume developments during the pandemic). While the index data only allowed for volume developments, now real turnover data is available, even if the data is far from perfect.

The turnover (i.e., revenues) for commercial printing in Italy remained relatively stable above the €10 billion mark in recent years. Between 2017 and 2019, turnover was practically flat at €10.2 billion. This was followed by a 17.5% drop to €8.5 billion in 2020. After a slight increase in 2016, the number of persons employed had a steady decline. Numbers declined from close to 80,000 in 2015 to 73,997 in 2020. The 6% decline in employment in 2020 was higher than the average decline of 2.8% in the years before, but not as steep as the drop in turnover.

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Overall, the printing industry in Italy accounts for 12.1% of the total European printing industry, falling between the UK and France. In terms of the number of employees in print, the European share of Italy is somewhat lower at 11.1%.

Italy—Share of Turnover and employment in Commercial Print in Europe, 2020

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Based on Eurostat numbers for turnover and the number of employees in the printing industry, the average annual turnover per employee can be calculated. The €130,766 for 2019 is slightly higher than the European average and at roughly the same level as Germany and the UK. The employment number does include part-time employees and owners with a salary. The year 2019 has been chosen for the comparison as 2020 could have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Please keep in mind that the data is based on Eurostat numbers for printing and related services (complemented by some estimates), which consists mainly of commercial and publishing printing, including prepress and finishing companies. That means that packaging, data center, direct mail print or quick print/copy shops are not included or only on a limited basis. In house print/CRD are not included at all. Europe as used in the series of articles includes the EU countries plus Norway, Switzerland, and the UK. If you have questions about sizing the European printing industry or need clarification, please contact me at [email protected].

This series on the turnover and employment development in commercial print in Europe will be continued. Next time, we will have a look at the printing industry in France.