Gloomy Outlook for Western European Printer Markets

The Western European printer and multifunction printer (MFP) market decreased by 7.7% year-over-year in unit terms in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q2016).

According to IDC, the inkjet and laser segments in Western Europe started showing negative performances in 2016. The shipment of those two segments registered 5 million units, down 422,000 units. Total revenues dropped 2.5%, and the revenues of laser and inkjet segments decreased 0.8% and 12.4% respectively. IDC commented the decline is “largely due to the contraction in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts”.

As reported, this is the fourth continuous quarter in which the laser printer market in Western Europe has shown a negative performance. Meanwhile, IDC found that due to prices in many markets not crashing, the revenue of the laser segment is still showing slightly better than the volume.

Business inkjet shipments recorded 6.4% increase in 1Q2016. MFP products increased 9.2%, while business inkjet printer segment dropped 16.8% in the same period. However, business inkjet MFPs represented more than 90% of business inkjet shipments in 1Q2016. Laser and business inkjet printer segments marked a slow growth, up 1.2%. MFP products represented 79.7% of all printer shipments in Western Europe in 1Q2016, with laser MFP shipments up 1.5% while inkjet MFPs down 8.5%.

The regional markets followed the negative trend in the Western European market somehow. Despite the German market suffering the third continuous negative quarter, the business inkjet market increased 7.4%, while the Western European average was 6.4%.

Although IDC observed the country performed better than the Western European average, the overall French market dropped 4% in 1Q2016. Likewise, IDC saw the inkjet segment in France declined and the laser segment performed even worse.
The U.K. market decreased 11.4% and the business inkjet registered 2.6% increase.

Delphine Carnet, Senior Research Analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group, commented, “After witnessing the first blip in more than two years in the business inkjet market last quarter, we are happy to report that we see a positive trend this quarter in Western Europe. A4 is responsible for most of the growth, but A3 devices are increasing as well. We also see an increase in shipments in higher-speed segments, as businesses seem to be taking advantage of the newest technologies and upgrades in business inkjet technology.”

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