14 Feb 2022

Western European HCP Market, 4Q21: Supply Chain Issues Continue to Stifle Opportunities in the Western European Hardcopy Market, says IDC

LONDON, February 14, 2022 — Supply chain issues that impacted growth in 3Q21 continued into 4Q21 and are in all likelihood set to continue throughout 2022. The issues started with microchip and other component shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for consumer goods increased strongly. Logistical and operational issues such as production capacity have added to the situation and most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are seeing inventory shortfalls.

As a result, year on year shipments declined 28.6%, with most product groups witnessing negative growth, though there were some pockets of growth. According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction peripheral (MFP) market stood at 3.81 million units in 4Q21 compared with 5.33 million a year ago. Market values were also affected and contracted 19.4% to give a value of €1.67B.

The two major product groups of laser and inkjets declined by double-digit figures, with laser shipments recording a year-on-year decline of 22.6% and inkjets declining 31.0%. All the laser segments contracted due to supply chain problems and as a result there are significant tenders that remain unfulfilled with not enough stock to satisfy the demands of channel partners. The only segment that did see growth was the A4 business inkjet market which increased by 8.4%.

The weak quarters of 3Q21 and 4Q21 therefore meant that the overall 2021 market declined 6.1%, with laser shipments contracting 12.5% and consumer inkjet markets contracting 7.0%. However, the strong shipments of business inkjet devices throughout the year saw the segment increase 21.7%.

"Supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the hardcopy market in the second half of the year and a similar scenario is likely to continue for some time as most of the major brands continue to have inventory and logistics issues," said Phil Sargeant, senior program director, Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group, IDC.

Main highlights:

• The overall Western European hardcopy market declined 28.6% year on year in 4Q21; shipments were at 3.81M units.

• The 4Q21 market value in Europe declined 19.4% to €1.67B.

• Inkjet shipments declined 31.0% in 4Q21; consumer inkjets declined 34.0%, but business inkjets increased 8.4%.

• The overall market in 2021 declined 6.1%.

• Overall laser shipments declined 12.5% in 2021, color shipments declined 13.9%, while monochrome shipments declined 11.6%.

• The inkjet market contracted 3.4%, consumer markets declined 7.0%, but business inkjet markets in 2021 increased 21.7%.

Main Country Highlights

Due to the supply chain issues, virtually all the Western European hardcopy markets declined. The main country highlights are shown below.


German shipments declined 28.3% in 4Q21 — an effective decline of almost 353,000 units to give a market size of almost 894,000 units, which is also an actual decline from 3Q21. German inkjet markets contracted by 30.6.0%, with declines in both consumer and business markets. Laser shipments declined 23.9%, with all the main segments seeing double-digit declines. The largest laser segment in Germany in 4Q21 was the A4 monochrome printer market.


French shipments were below the Western European average, declining 34.3% for a market size of 636,000 units. Inkjet shipments declined 37.1%; most of this decline was from consumer devices, while business inkjets also declined by double-digit figures. The total laser market declined 24.8% and all segments posted double-digit figures. As with Germany, the largest laser segment in France in 4Q21 was the A4 monochrome printer market.

The U.K.

U.K. shipments declined 27.5% in line with other major European countries. This gave a market size of 653,000 units meaning the U.K. was larger than France. As in other countries, both inkjet and laser markets contracted by double digits. Inkjets declined 29.8% and lasers by 16.4%, but the U.K. was one of the few countries to show some growth from the business inkjet market, which increased 2.9% in 4Q21. Also, in the U.K. the A3 color MFP market showed an increase of 1.2%


The Italian market declined 23.5% for a market size of 460,000 units. Inkjet shipments declined 27.5%, with the declines due to consumer products, while business inkjets actually showed strong growth of 22.0%. Laser shipments contracted by 16.7% for the quarter The only laser segment to show any noticeable growth was the A4 monochrome printer market, but the largest laser market in Italy for 4Q21 was the A4 monochrome MFP market.


Spain's shipments declined 35.4% for a market size of 308,000 units. Inkjet shipments contracted by 35.2%; with both consumer and business inkjets contracting. Total laser shipments declined 35.9%, and as with other countries the largest laser segment was the A4 monochrome printer market.


• Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, February 2022.

• All quarterly growth rates quoted are year on year (4Q21 versus 4Q20).

• IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in the Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker.

• Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers and multifunctional systems (MFPs). Data is reported for calendar periods.


Regions Covered

Western Europe

Topics Covered

Multifunction peripherals, Printers

For more information, contact:

Phil Sargeant (psargeant)
+44 20 8987 7179