A StatsCan report issued today reports that total operating revenues for the Canadian periodical publishing industry reached $2.4 billion in 2008, up 1.2% from 2007.

The periodical publishing industry consists of magazine or periodical publishers whose main activities include gathering, writing, soliciting and editing articles, and preparing and selling advertisements.

Total operationg expenses for the industry totalled $2.10 billion, up 0.1% from a year earlier. As a result, overall operating profit margins increased to 12.3% from 11.3% in 2007.

The ten largest publishing companies accounted for just over half of industry operating revenues ($1.34 billion), and 79% of industry profits. These companies recorded an operating profit margin of 17.4%, up from 16.2% in 2007. By comparison, the remaining companies posted a operating profit margin of 5.9% in 2008, up from 4.8% the previous year.

Firms located in Ontario and Quebec accounted for the majority of the industry's operating revenues. Ontario firms accounted for 58.1% of total operating revenues in 2008. Quebec firms accounted for 22.2%, while those in the Prairies represented 10.3%.

Average spending on periodicals was very stable, around $60 per household, from 1999 to 2005. From 2006 to 2008 spending on periodicals declined to $47 per household, according to Statistics Canada's Survey of Household Spending.