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Hungary book sales drop HUF 3 bln in 2010

The Hungarian book market has experience a steady decline in sales since peaking at HUF 67 billion in 2008, with turnover falling 4.% to HUF 61.6 billion last year compared to 2009, business daily Világgazdaság reports.

Booksellers and publishers are downbeat and expect to see further decline and unpredictability for another two years, the paper said.

Figures from the Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers Association (MKKE) show Hungarians spent HUF 6,200 on various publications in 2010. Turnover in school textbooks and foreign language textbooks amounted to HUF 16.6 billion or 27% of the total. Non-fiction books retained their position at 24% of the market even though sales declined slightly in value terms.

MKKE head Péter László Zentai said this year's numbers will most probably remain below the same period of last year.

E-books are expected to generate some growth although Hungarian consumers are estimated to have 5,000-10,000 e-book readers at most. In the coming one or two years, however, experts expect to see a huge expansion in this segment, both in terms of accessible content and the market for the devices, the paper said.