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UK licensed royalties reach $818 million

LIMA analysis shows that the UK leads Europe as hub for retail sales of licensed products.

The UK is the world’s second largest licensing market behind the US, new analysis from LIMA has confirmed.

The new figures – which have been released to coincide with the start of Brand Licensing Europe today (October 9) – show that the UK leads Europe as a hub for retail sales of licensed products, reaching a record level of $14.04 billion in 2017, generating royalties for the brand owners of $818 million.

Royalties generated by sales in the UK account for an estimated 5.6% of the $14.5 billion total royalties taken worldwide from licensed merchandise sales in 2017. The figure has risen from $682 million 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% year on year, from the top five in 2017 came from China/Hong Kong.


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%).

“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,” said Maura Regan, president of LIMA. “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 licenses 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 of 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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