According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market grew by 3.8% in unit terms in 2Q17 compared with the same period a year ago. There were positive sales performances in both inkjet and laser markets for units, but value for the laser market was actually down. The overall market has been in continuous decline since 2Q15 — and in 2Q17 the quarter increased by 173,000 units to give a market of almost 4.7 million devices. This stellar quarter is due to the surprising growth in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues, on the other hand, declined by 5.6%. Inkjet revenues, however, increased 1.5% while laser revenues fell by 6.9%.
Laser market shipments increased by 4.7% in 2Q17, but values decreased, indicating that prices are getting lower: a sharp contrast from the positive trend observed last year. ASPs for the laser market decreased by 11% in 2Q17.
Business inkjet shipments suffered another decline, a persisting negative trend for the past four quarters with shipments falling by 5.9% in 2Q17. MFP products declined by 5.1% in volume but grew by 9.7% in value. This is due to an increase in the average selling price of 73% for A3 MFPs; the A4 format represents 75.1% of business inkjet MFPs. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 89.8% of business inkjet shipments in 2Q17, a 0.7% increase from last year.
Overall, MFP products accounted for 80.7% of all shipments in Western Europe in 2Q17, lower than the 81.4% in 2Q16. Laser and inkjet MFPs increased by 2.9%, while laser and inkjet printers showed an even stronger performance with a 7.9% increase, with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.
There was small growth in the business market in 2Q17; the market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, increased by 1.6%, but the value decreased by 6%. The highest value growth was in 1-20ppm color devices and 151+ ppm mono devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.
“We have seen poor results in the printing devices market for quite some time, but today we can reveal that the Western European market has grown by 3.6% globally with positive results for both inkjet and laser segments,” said Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “Leading countries such as Germany and the U.K. are showing double-digit increases. However, we have observed a 6.9% decline in laser revenues, which leads us to believe that businesses are feeling the pinch and looking for value for money.”