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 estimating volume developments, now real turnover data is available—even if the data is far from perfect.

The turnover for commercial printing in Portugal has been relatively flat in recent years, with slight fluctuations. Overall, the turnover stood at €1.024 million in 2019, a few million higher than in 2015. In 2020, turnover dropped decisively by 19.5% due to the pandemic, one of the highest rates in Europe. The drop is much higher than the earlier production volume index data suggested for 2020.

The number of persons employed showed a minute decline from 2015 to 2019 with an average decline of 0.2%, a sign of ongoing productivity improvements. The decline accelerated rapidly to 8.9% in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, a noticeably lower drop than for the turnover, however.

Source: Eurostat 2022 and

Overall, the printing industry in Portugal accounted for 1.2% of the total European printing industry in 2020, falling between Finland and Romania. In terms of the number of employees in print, the European share of Portugal is markedly higher at 2.1%.

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 €67.704 for 2019 is lower than the European average and in the range of many of the Central and Eastern European Countries. It is noticeably lower than neighboring Spain as well. The employment number does include part-time employees and owners with a salary. The year 2019 has been chosen as a basis for the comparison as 2020 could have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the differing speeds at which the labor markets reacted.

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 centre, 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. However, at the next occasion, we will have a look at the current production volume index for print in Europe to understand where the industry is heading in 2023.