Western Europe Printer & MFP Market Slows in Latest Quarter, Reports IDC, but 3.4% Increase in Business-Inkjet Shipments


According to the latest research from market-research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and MFP market declined by 5.8 percent in terms of unit shipments in second-quarter 2016 compared with the same quarter a year ago, with negative performances in both the inkjet and laser printer and MFP segments. For the second consecutive negative quarter, the market showed  a decline of 275,000 units with a shipment volume of 4.5 million devices, a decline that IDC says is again largely due to the contraction in consumer printing, but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues declined by 0.8 percent, but inkjets showed an encouraging 3.4 percent increase due to business-inkjet shipment. Laser printer and MFP shipments however fell by 1.4 percent.

Note that IDC tracks A2–A4 printers and MFPs in its Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker. Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SFDCs).

Laser markets showed a decrease of 7.9 percent in second-quarter 2016, following the negative trend seen in the past several quarters in Western Europe. Still, IDC says the laser-revenue decrease is much lower than the volume decrease, indicating that prices in many markets are holding.

Business-inkjet shipments “are still going strong in 2016,” according to IDC. After seeing an increase last quarter, shipments grew by 6.2 percent in second-quarter 2016. MFPs showed the highest growth rate, with an 8.7 percent increase, but business-inkjet printers decreased 15.9 percent in the quarter. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 91.7 percent of business inkjet shipments in second-quarter 2016.

Overall, MFP products accounted for 81.4 percent of all shipments in Western Europe in second-quarter 2016, higher than the 81-percent average in 2016. Laser and inkjet MFPs decreased, but laser and inkjet printers decreased at a higher double-digit percentage, with shipments were generally in line with IDC forecasts.

Growth in the business market, which is made up of both laser and business-inkjet devices, slowed by 4.9 percent, but the value only slipped by 1.1 percent. The highest value growth was in 45 ppm+ color devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.

“The negative trend in the printing and imaging industry continues in second-quarter,” 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 moderate growth in the current bleak economic context.”

Main highlights of IDC’s research include:

  • The overall Western European hardcopy market declined 5.8 percent year-over-year in second-quarter 2016, with the laser decline greater than that for inkjet.
  • Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 color printers and MFP devices showing the only real laser growth increase in Western Europe.
  • Business inkjet grew by 6.2 percent, with business-inkjet MFPs responsible for the increase, while printers decreased by 15.9 percent.

Country Highlights

The German market followed the overall Western European negative trend with a 9.5 percent decline after three negative quarters. The business-inkjet market performed below the Western European average, with an increase of 2.7 percent compared with the regional average of 6.2 percent.

The laser market in Germany has shown negative growth for more than a year now, with color devices decreasing 6.5 percent compared with the 16.9 percent decrease in the black-and-white laser segment. The inkjet market also decreased, by 7.2 percent, with consumer inkjet showing a 9.9 percent decrease.

Both MFPs and printers saw declines, with an 8.5 percent decrease for MFPs and a 12.4 percent decline for printers.

France performed better than the Western European average, according to IDC, but still showed an overall decline of 1.0 percent in second-quarter 2016 over the same period last year. Inkjet increased by 5.5 percent, but laser declined by 15.7 percent.

The consumer markets for inkjet surprisingly increased by 2.2 percent, in sharp contrast with the rest of Western Europe, and business inkjet increased by 37.5 percent, contrasting strongly with the slightly positive trend seen in Western Europe. Inkjet MFPs grew by 5.7 percent, but laser MFPs decreased by 10.8 percent.

The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom recorded a very poor performance again this quarter, according to IDC, with a 17.6 percent decline. This is in line with the negative trend seen in Western Europe, though the U.K. performance was even worse. Business inkjet performed slightly below the regional average, with only a 5.8 percent increase. Both the laser and inkjet markets declined, but  there was very high positive growth for A3 inkjet MFPs.

For more information see IDC’s IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, August 2016, or contact IDC’s Phil Sargeant at psargeant@idc.com.

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