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Western Europe HCP market sees little growth

November 23, 2017

The latest IDC research reveals that the Hard Copy Peripherals market in Western Europe has had a disappointing year, with “few growth areas”.

According to IDC, “the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market decreased by 3.2% in unit terms” in Q3 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. Both the inkjet and laser printer markets experienced “negative sales performances” in terms of units, and laser market value was also down.

These results are in line with the documented decline in the overall market which began in Q2 2015 and seems set to continue despite “a hopeful last quarter”. This quarter’s results mark a decline of 173,000 units “to give a market of almost 5.1 million devices”, a “disappointing” performance which was caused by a fall in laser printing, with overall revenues falling by 11.4 percent and laserjet revenues dropping by 15.2 percent.

Inkjet revenues grew, however, by 9.6 percent, as a result of “strong A3 sales”.

Shipments of laserjet units decreased in number by 7.9 percent in Q3 2017, with values also dropping, which indicates “that prices are getting lower”, according to IDC.

Business inkjet shipments did experience “slight growth after a persistent negative trend in the past five quarters”, with shipments dropping “by 0.5 percent” in the third quarter. Meanwhile “MFP products grew by 1.9 percent in volume but grew by 27 percent in value”, and business inkjet MFPs “accounted for 90.3 percent of business inkjet shipments in Q3 2017”, which is “a 1.3 percent increase” from the same period last year.

Overall, the IDC report revealed that “MFP products accounted for 85.1 percent of all shipments in Western Europe” in Q3 2017, a slight increase on the 83.3 percent reported in Q3 2016. Laser and inkjet MFPs, however, “decreased by 1.2 percent, while laser and inkjet printers showed an even stronger decline (13.6 percent), with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.”

In general, “there was a significant decline in the business market” in the third quarter. Comprising both laser and business inkjet devices, the market “decreased by 5.6 percent, with value declining by 12.7 percent.” The highest value growth was reported in 31–44ppm color devices and 45–69ppm mono devices, “showing that high-end devices are preferred by businesses.”

“Despite a poor quarter for the Western European market, we see that high-speed laser devices have grown moderately,” said Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “It is in fact difficult to look at growth areas nowadays in the market as both the inkjet and laser segments are decreasing in Western Europe. Business inkjet and high-speed laser devices show a slight growth in the current bleak economic context.”

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