Photo printing and book publishing to be year’s worst performing sectors

According to IBIS World’s list of ‘Industries Set to Fly and Fall in 2011-12’, the coming year will bring scant relief for Image Processing & Printing Services, which covers the photographic process, and Book & Telephone Directory Publishing, which comprises companies that publish anything from novels to telephone directories and street maps.

Image Processing & Printing Services is expected to shrink by 4.9% over the 12 months to generate $500m of total revenue.

An IBIS World analyst told ProPrint that the decline dates back to the arrival of digital cameras, driving fewer consumers to print out their photos. She said that companies such as Kodak had sought to buoy their flagging retail outlets by offering ancillary services, such as specialist printing services like enlargements and restoration.

“However, even this service is likely to become increasingly redundant as home printing and editing technology become more affordable and accessible.”

For the Book & Telephone Directory Publishing sector, she said: “The adverse impact of technology specifically on book publishers tends to be a little overstated at the moment.”

She said that the sector, which covers publishing not book printing, has actually been bolstered by the internet, such as online retailing, which has opened up a new channel for book customers.

However, the IBIS World report still forecasts that Book & Telephone Directory Publishing will fall by 2.4% to $4.2bn, battered by the rise of competing mediums such as computer games and pay TV, and compounded by the collapse of Red Group.

The two industries were fourth and fifth on the list of “Top five worst-performing industries 2011-12”; the only three sectors expected to do worse were Gaming & Vending Machines Manufacturing (-12.6%), Wired Telecommunications Carriers (-7.6%) and Institutional Building Construction (-7.3%). 

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