The full results on turnover (revenues) in the printing industry in Europe for 2020 were published late in 2022 after 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.

Turnover for commercial printing in Sweden experienced a steady and strong decline, moving from €2.3 billion in 2015 to €1.6 billion in 2019, an average annual decline of 6.9%. This decline has been the by far deepest among all European countries. In 2020, the decline even accelerated to 20.1% due to the pandemic, resulting in turnover of just €1.3 billion. The decline is noticeably bigger than the anticipated drop in the 8–10% range based on the earlier production volume index data and strong considering the limited extent of lockdowns in Sweden compared to other countries.

The number of persons employed showed a similar decline as the turnover developments. Overall employment had an average annual decline of 6.4% from 2015 to 2019. In 2020, the decline accelerated to 11.3%—a lower rate than the drop in turnover, however.

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Overall, the printing industry in Sweden accounts for 1.9% of the total European printing industry, falling between Czechia and Hungary. In terms of the number of employees in print, the European share of Sweden is noticeably smaller at 1.4%.

Sweden—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 €157.151 for 2019 is higher than the European average and in the range of most Nordic countries. The turnover does trail countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria, however. 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 and the differing speed the labor markets reacted.

Sweden—Average Turnover Per Employee in Commercial Print in Europe, 2019

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 continue. Next time we will have a look at the printing industry in Poland.