Western European Hardcopy Market Shows Slight Dip But Outlook Remains Positive, Says IDC
10 Feb 2012
LONDON, February 10, 2011 — Despite a slight decline in year-on-year shipments of 2.6% to 8.1 million, the outlook remains optimistic for growth but margins for suppliers remain constrained, according to the latest Western European Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC). Prices continued to tumble as competition remained intense and this resulted in a decline in revenues of 10.7% to $3.3 billion from $3.8 billion in 4Q10.
Commenting on these headline numbers, Arnaud Gagneux, director of IDC's Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group, said, "2012 will be a key year for manufacturers and their channel partners. In the current economic climate consumers are turning away from printing at home while businesses are making sure that they can benefit from all the new features the latest MFPs and printers can offer. Documents are being digitized and workflows streamlined in an attempt by businesses to drive costs out of the business and increase efficiencies."
Phil Sargeant, IDC research manager, said demand for hardcopy devices in the business environment remained strong as combined business inkjet and laser shipments grew 3.1%. In line with current market trends, color devices showed solid growth of 8.4% but monochrome contracted 6.4% and this resulted in an overall reduction in the laser market of 2.1%, which is in line with the overall market decline. Monochrome remains twice the size of the color market, but the gap between the two is narrowing and both monochrome and color devices are beginning to feel some pressure from business inkjet products in the SOHO and small business sectors.
Bright spots for 4Q11 included the continued growth in business inkjets (32.4%), increased installations of color devices (8.4%), and continued strong demand for high-speed inkjet devices (13.6%).
Disappointments included a decline in the consumer inkjet market of 5.1% in the busy Christmas period and a decline in the monochrome printer market of 12.0% in 4Q, which is traditionally a strong market for monochrome devices.
• Germany. The German market declined 8.0% to 1.86 million units, largely due to a decrease in the consumer inkjet markets of more than 14.4%. Conversely the amount of business inkjet products being shipped showed encouraging growth of 22.3%, while the laser market in general remained flat again, reiterating the point that business environments seem more buoyant than the consumer markets. It was a disappointing end to the year for the German hardcopy market, which had been one of the success points in 2011. In general, the German hardcopy market remained flat in 2011.
• The U.K. The U.K. performed well in 4Q11. Though still some way behind Germany in terms of market size, it remained the second-largest market, with 19% of all Western European shipments and a growth rate of 1.5%. The main reason for growth to 1.57 million units was an increase in business inkjet shipments of 57.5%, while consumer inkjets only marginally increased by 1.4%. Encouraging news was also found in the growth of production devices, especially in the light and very light segments, but overall growth for the U.K. was curtailed by the decline in monochrome printer and MFP devices. The U.K. showed overall growth of 3.8% in 2011.
• France. France was the best performing market of the big 3 in 4Q11, showing year-on-year growth of 10.1% to 1.39 million units. France was the only major market in Western Europe to show growth for inkjet, color, and monochrome laser devices. Business inkjets increased 48.3%, while the consumer inkjet market showed double-digit growth of 10.1%. Overall laser shipments increased 6.0%, with monochrome printers still accounting for almost half of all laser shipments. France showed growth of 1.6% for full year 2011.
• Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, November 2011.
IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in the Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker.
• Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SFDCs).
• Data for all vendors is reported for calendar periods.
• For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in EMEA, please contact Arnaud Gagneux (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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