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Decline in printer sales expected, says IDC

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According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multi-function (MFP) market decreased 2,6% in unit terms compared with the same period a year ago, with negative performances on both inkjet and laser segments but in line with IDC’s forecast following a strong first quarter.
This gave a 2Q15 market figure of 4,79-million units — a decline of 126 606 units. Revenues increased by an impressive 6,6%, however, with laser devices showing the biggest increase.

The negative 2Q contrasts with an overall recovery in the hardcopy market in Western Europe in 2014. Combined printer and MFP shipments increased 2,9% in 2014 and 2,6% in 1Q15. However, MFPs remain flat while printer devices declined 11,7% in 2Q15.
As usual, business inkjets had a strong 2Q15, but were still slower than in previous quarters, with a 16,3% year-on-year increase. MFP products showed the highest growth rates. Germany alone represents 31,6% of the business inkjet market, followed by the UK and France.
MFP products accounted for 79,8% of all shipments. While MFP shipments increased, printer markets recorded a double-digit decline.

The laser market showed an overall 5.5% year-on-year decline, while laser MFPs showed the only growth, at 2,5%, with 6,3% for colour devices and -0.9% for mono. A3 devices increased 2,2% while A4 devices declined 2,9% in 2Q15; the highest growth was in A3 laser, at 5,6% year on year. This growth is mainly due to a 10,2% increase in the A3 mono laser segment.

While the overall market decreased in 2Q15, trends by country are more pronounced, with double-digit decreases in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Switzerland. However, there were notable double-digit increases in Austria and Spain and also gains in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

“The negative second quarter of 2015 follows several positive quarters in the hardcopy market in Western Europe,” says Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “In fact, IDC forecast this decline and predicted that the market would slow down after a good performance in 2014 and 1Q15.”

Main highlights include:
* The overall Western European hardcopy market declined 2,6% year on year in 2Q15, with the laser decline a lot higher than that for inkjet.
* Very few segments have seen growth, with multifunction laser showing the strongest increase in Western Europe.
* Most colour growth was from A3 MFP products, while colour printer products showed double-digit declines in all format devices.
* Business inkjet performed well in the quarter, with 21,9% growth for MFP devices but a decline of 16,6% for printers.