November 11, 2019
According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market decreased by 4.9 percent in unit terms in 3Q19 compared with the same period a year ago, to give a market size of 4.60 million units.
This meant the overall market declined year-on-year by 236,000 units, but price declines steadied and as there was a skew toward higher-priced devices including production, the quarter generated market values of $2.1 billion (€1.9 billion), an increase on the same period a year ago.
Inkjet markets have been in decline for several years now as consumer demand continues to contract, and though business inkjet shipments remain strong, they do not make up the shortfall. The inkjet market declined by 4.2 percent with declines from both consumer and business markets. The value declines for inkjet eased as greater numbers of A3 products shipped.
Laser shipments also declined, at a greater rate than inkjet devices largely due to sharp monochrome declines of 9.6 percent. Colour laser also declined, but at a lesser extent of 1.4 percent, though there were pockets of growth such as A4 and A3 colour MFPs. The A4 colour MFP market is increasing at a high rate and for the first time these shipments were higher than A4 monochrome MFP shipments.
High-speed inkjet shipments dipped slightly, while serial impact dot matrix shipments declined heavily.
“The first three quarters of 2019 have all declined year-on-year, giving rise to a negative growth rate for 2019,” said Phil Sargeant, Programme Director in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. Annual shipments so far are down by almost 800,000 units and most OEMs are seeing their sales decline, but there are some that have invested in new areas and are seeing their shipments increase.”
The research shows that the overall Western European hardcopy market contracted by 6.1 percent year-on-year in 3Q19, recording shipments of 4.60 million units, while value increased by 5.0 percent. A4 colour MFP product shipments increased by 10.8 percent to show higher shipments than A4 monochrome MFP. Inkjet markets continued to contract and the headline figure for 3Q19 was -4.2 percent and consumer inkjet shipments declined by 4.3 percent while business inkjet shipments declined by 3.7 percent.
The German market declined by 6.0 percent and all major areas saw a contraction. The overall German market saw shipments fall by 72,000 units compared with a year ago, but as with the main European trend, shipments of A4 and A3 colour MFP shipments increased. A3 inkjet shipments also increased.
France performed well in 3Q19 and the overall market increased by 5.7 percent. Most of this increase was from inkjet devices as there were several consumer promotions, and though laser shipments were flat this was a much better performance than the European average. In the laser segments, growth was seen in the A3 MFP segments.
UK shipments fell by double digits yet again. Shipments contracted year on year by 11,000 (-13.1 percent) as both inkjet and laser shipments tumbled. All segments of the inkjet market contracted, and most laser segments also saw similar declines, but there was one bright spot as A4 colour MFP shipments increased.
The Italian market performed well in 1Q19 and 2Q19 but fell back in 3Q19 by 9.6 percent. Declines were greater in laser markets than in inkjet markets and the only real area of growth was the A3 monochrome MFP market, which saw a modest rise.
Shipments in Spain dipped by 2.1 percent. Despite this small decline the Spanish market is the only country out of the big five that is currently showing full year growth, albeit at a modest one percent. Inkjet shipments for the quarter were flat as consumer markets declined and business inkjet shipments increased. As with other countries, most laser segments declined but colour A4 MP shipments increased.
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