Western Europe Printer Shipments Decline, but Average Selling Price Increases

According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and copier/MFP market declined by 4,4 percent in unit terms in fourth-quarter 2016 compared with the same period a year ago, with negative sales performances in both inkjet and laser markets, but average selling price (ASP) for both were actually up.

The overall market has been in continuous decline since second-quarter 2015, and in fourth-quarter 2016 the quarter declined by 289,000 units to a total of 6.2-million devices, and a decline that is again largely due to the contraction in color-laser printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues, on the other hand, grew by 2.2 percent, with inkjets showing an increase of 1.5 percent and laser revenues an increase of 2.3 percent.

Laser shipments decreased by 7.4 percent in fourth-quarter 2016, but ASPs increased, indicating that prices in many markets are holding. ASPs for laser devices increased by 0.8 percent in fourth-quarter 2016. For the second consecutive quarter, business-inkjet shipments suffered a decline. Shipments fell by 7.1 percent in fourth-quarter 2016. MFP products declined by 6.3 percent in shipment volume, but only decreased by 2.5 percent in value.

This is said to be due to an increase in ASP for A4 MFPs of 6.1 percent. This sector represents 73.6 percent of business inkjet MFPs. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 93,3 percent of business inkjet shipments in fourth-quarter 2016.

Overall, MFP products accounted for 83.2 percent of all shipments in Western Europe in fourth-quarter 2016. Laser and inkjet MFPs decreased by 2.9 percent, while laser and inkjet printers decreased by 11,3 percent, with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.

Overall the laser and business inkjet market declined by 4 percent, but ASPs increased by 0,4 percent. The highest value growth was in 31-44 ppm colour devices and 70-90 ppm monochrome devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.

“The negative trend in the printing and imaging industry continued in fourth-quarter 2016,” says Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “And the business-inkjet segment, which until recently enjoyed very strong growth, is not exempt from the global decline. The volume of business inkjet devices is decreasing, but value decreased at a much slower pace. This is due to the increase in the average selling price for the MFPs, and higher sales in the workgroup/shared devices segment.”

The overall Western European hardcopy market declined by 4,4 percent year-over-year in fourth-quarter 2016, with laser decreasing faster than inkjet.

Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 color laser MFPs and A3 color inkjet printers showing the only real growth in Western Europe.

Business inkjets declined by 7.1 percent, with printers declining by 15.4 percent and MFPs by 6.3 percent.

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