According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market declined by 7,7% in unit terms in 1Q16 compared with the same period a year ago, with negative performances in both the inkjet and laser segments.
This negative start to 2016, with a market figure of 5-million units and a decline of 422 000 units, is largely due to the contraction in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts.
Revenues declined by 2,5%, with lasers showing a slight 0,8% decrease and inkjet revenues falling by 12,4%.
The laser markets show a decrease in 1Q16, following the negative trend seen in the previous three quarters in Western Europe. Still, the laser revenue decrease is much lower than the volume, indicating that prices in many markets are holding.
After a blip in the last quarter, business inkjet shipments rebounded and grew 6,4% in 1Q16. MFP products showed the highest growth rate, with a 9,2% increase, but business inkjet printers decreased 16,8% in the quarter. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for well over 90% of business inkjet shipments in 1Q16.
Overall, MFP products accounted for 79,7% of all shipments in Western Europe in 1Q16, lower than in the past three quarters. Laser MFP shipments increased by 1,5% and inkjet MFPs decreased by 8,5% this quarter, but shipments were generally in line with IDC forecasts.
Growth in the business market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, slowed, but the value only slipped by 1,2%. The highest value growth was in 45ppm+ colour devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.
“After witnessing the first blip in more than two years in the business inkjet market last quarter, we are happy to report that we see a positive trend this quarter in Western Europe. A4 is responsible for most of the growth, but A3 devices are increasing as well,” says Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group.
“We also see an increase in shipments in higher-speed segments, as businesses seem to be taking advantage of the newest technologies and upgrades in business inkjet technology.”
The overall Western European hardcopy market declined 7,7% year on year in 1Q16, with the inkjet decline greater than that for laser.
Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 and A4 colour MFP devices showing the only real laser growth increase in Western Europe.
Most colour growth was from A4 MFP products, with only colour MFP products showing a double-digit increase.
Business inkjet grew by 6,4%, with MFPs responsible for the increase, while printers decreased by 16,8%.