CONTEXT: European Printer Sales and Revenue Declined in Q1

CONTEXT: European Printer Sales and Revenue Declined in Q1

CONTEXT: European Printer Sales and Revenue Declined in Q1

CONTEXT: European Printer Sales and Revenue Declined in Q1According to CONTEXT, volume and value sales of printers through European distribution fell 29% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022 (Q1 2022) while revenue dropped 10% year-over-year.

CONTEXT revealed that this drop was driven in part by lower demand versus a year ago, especially in the consumer market which is reaching saturation, particularly for entry-level printers. Other factors include components and raw materials shortages which are increasing lead times.

Revenue declined at a slower rate than volume sales was due to:

  • a different product mix versus a year ago,
  • more sales of mid- and high-end devices, especially business printers.
  • price increases in the consumer market, driven by continued product shortages, also drove up the average selling price (ASP) of products. This was particularly noticeable for laser devices, which benefited from more sales of A3 business printers, especially laser SFPs.

Business sales rebound

Despite the overall decline, business revenue sales have been trending above the index 100 baseline since Week 3 of 2022, indicating improved performance versus the 2021 average. In recent weeks, the gap has widened between these and consumer sales figures, which still sit well below the baseline.

A changing product mix, with more high-end devices sold and price increases for entry-level and mid-range devices, resulted in a higher ASP and overall strong revenue performance for the business sector. The reopening of offices and IT budgets rebalanced towards office equipment are also playing their part in driving up revenue.

This meant business revenues declined by just 2% YoY in Q1, versus 22% in the consumer segment. Unit sales fared worse, with business volumes slumping 13% YoY and consumer sales dropping 36% over the same period.


Most of the top European countries saw revenue trend downwards in Q1, either below the 2021 or 2020 trend lines, with the exception of Poland and Italy.

Poland has seen a sharp increase since Week 12 and is now sitting above the 2021 baseline. Italy is just below last year’s curve and trending up as well. It’s benefitting from publicly funded projects, and CONTEXT expects this will continue, since new public tender offers have been issued for 100,000 A4 printers (worth around €55 million or US$59.37 million), which should be closed in the next couple of months.

The average number of pages printed (ANP): refillable ink bottles trend upwards

There was a slight YoY decrease of 0.2% in printed pages in Q1 2022, with toners, ink cartridges, and tanks very close to last year’s figures. Breaking down the ANP index by consumable type, it’s clear that ink cartridges and toners are following a similar pattern. Since March, toners have been above the index baseline.

The ANP performance of refillable ink bottles has steadily trended upwards since August last year, except for a slowdown in November and December. The index reached a peak of 162 in March 2022. In fact, ink tanks are still performing exceptionally well, steadily gaining market share over inkjet cartridge printers. As a result, refillable ink bottles have also seen a consistently positive performance thus far and this is expected to continue in 2022.



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