UK licensed royalties reach $818m, showing 5.7% annual growth

Published on: 10th October 2018

Harry Potter, Peppa Pig and Manchester City FC help drive worldwide demand for British Creative IP.

The UK is the world’s second largest licensing market behind United States.

New analysis from LIMA, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, shows the UK leads Europe as a hub for retail sales of licensed products, reaching a record level of $14.04b in 2017, generating royalties for the brand owners of $818m.

The findings spotlight the central role the UK plays as a market for licensed goods and services even as it exports beloved brands and characters such as Harry Potter, Peppa Pig and Manchester City FC to the rest of the world. The figures have been released to mark the opening of Brand Licensing Europe.
Royalties generated by sales in the UK account for an estimated 5.6% of the $14.5b total royalties taken worldwide from licensed merchandise sales in 2017. This figure has risen from $682m since 2014, the near-20% growth proof of the popularity with British consumers of brands and characters from all over the world, including those that are home grown.

The UK is second only to the United States in value of retail sales, outperforming Japan, Germany and China/Hong Kong, while the biggest growth, 9.8% y/o/y, from the top 5 in 2017 came from China/Hong Kong. The figures are a timely reminder as all UK industries, not just licensing, consider how they will trade with Europe and with international territories post-Brexit.

The majority of UK royalties, over two thirds, came from products in the Entertainment/Character category, followed by Corporate/Brand (8.6%), Sports (8.3%) and Fashion (7.6%). These licences are brought to consumers through a variety of products, from accessories and apparel to housewares, publishing, gifts and health and beauty products.

Maura Regan, president, LIMA, commented: “Once again the industry comes together in London to identify and capitalise on the huge opportunities presented by licensing to retailers and the creators of fantastic licences. It is right then to look at the role of the UK as a catalyst within the global licensing community, both as a highly valuable market for licensed retail sales and also as a provider of licences which generate royalties in markets around the world. These figures show how well the UK is positioned as a global trading hub for licensed product, whether you are a buyer, a seller or a retailer.”

Anna Knight, brand director, Brand Licensing Europe, added: “It’s great to be hosting this multi-billion dollar industry here in London once again, where the very best of British and European licensing talent meets with international colleagues to build brands and create products with worldwide appeal.”


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