The news comes as industry professionals gather in London for Brand Licensing Europe. The annual sales total generated royalties of $818 million for property owners.
The research emphasizes the U.K.’s role as a market for licensed goods and services, while simultaneously exporting brands and characters, such as Harry Potter, “Peppa Pig” and Manchester City Football Club.
The U.K. is the world’s second licensing market–behind the United States¬–and has generated more sales than Japan, Germany and China/Hong Kong.
However, of the top five countries, China/Hong Kong experienced the most growth, 9.8 percent year-over-year. “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,” says Anna Knight, brand director, Brand Licensing Europe.
More than two-thirds of U.K. royalties resulted from products in the entertainment/character category, while corporate/brand accounted for 8.6 percent; sports made up 8.3 percent and fashion marked 7.6 percent. Royalties generated in the U.K. were 5.6 percent of the $14.5 billion total royalties tallied worldwide from licensed merchandise sales in 2017, compared to $682 million in 2014.
“Once again, the industry comes together in London to identify and capitalize on the huge opportunities presented by licensing to retailers and the creators of fantastic licenses,” says Maura Regan, president, LIMA. “It is right, then, to look at the role of the U.K. as a catalyst within the global licensing community, both as a highly-valuable market for licensed retail sales and also as a provider of licenses which generate royalties in markets around the world. These figures show how well the U.K. is positioned as a global trading hub for licensed product, whether you are a buyer, a seller or a retailer.”
Brand Licensing Europe will take place Oct. 9-11 at London’s Olympia.