August 7, 2018
New data published by CONTEXT shows a rise in printer hardware sales in Western Europe (WE) in the second quarter of 2018, the first such rise in the last year.
Sales through distributors in WE in Q2 2018 increased by 3 percent, year-on-year; Q2 is historically “the weakest quarter of the year,” according to CONTEXT, with Q2 2017 representing a particular trough, declining 5.5 percent from the year before.
The company calls Q2 2018’s rise “significant,” and says that it brings sales back to a similar level to that of Q2 2016.
A key driver was sales of inkjet multifunction printers, which had an impact on imaging sales as a whole and were up by 7 percent year-on-year. Sales of laser devices, however, were flat for the quarter, where the positive performance of laser MFPs was offset by the negative performance of single function printers. Multifunction devices in general continue to outperform single-function devices, and were up by 7.5 percent.
Despite increasing sales, the revenue generated in Q2 was flat overall with declining revenues in all categories apart from inkjet MFPs. This is primarily because the ASPs of laser devices, especially laser MFPs, are falling and sales of these account for more than 40 percent of the revenue generated.
Inkjets outperformed laser devices with increases in both consumer- and business-targeted inkjet categories. As well as being the first quarter in the year that saw positive performances for both business and consumer inkjets, Q2 also saw the consumer printers outperform those targeted at businesses with a 6 percent year-on-year increase in sales.
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