The worldwide large format printer (LFP) market recorded positive year-over-year results in both units (7,4%) and shipment value (3,7%) in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14).

This marks the third consecutive quarter of growth in both units and shipment value. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, the worldwide LFP market recorded approximately 81 500 unit shipments in the first quarter of 2014.

“Shipments of UV-curable inkjet devices have been growing steadily over the past three years and IDC expects this trend to continue at a similar pace over the next 3 years,” says Phuong Hang, program manager: Worldwide Large Format Printer Trackers at IDC.

The technical segment increased 9,3% year-over-year to 49 500 units shipped and 61% share of the total LFP market in the first quarter. All of IDC’s regional markets experienced positive year-over-year growth in this segment with four out of eight showing double-digit growth, including Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (10,5%), Japan (14,1%), Middle East & Africa (15,4%), and the U.S. (11,8%).

Shipment value for this segment also grew 1,4% to more than $301-million in 1Q14.

The graphics application segment grew 4,6% year-over-year and at 32 000 units accounts for 39% of the total LFP market. Five out of eight regional markets recorded year-over-year unit growth in this segment with Japan leading the pack at 22,4%, followed by Middle East & Africa and Canada at 18,7% and 12,8%, respectively. Similar to the technical segment, shipment value in graphics also expanded 5,3% year-over-year to over $493-million.

HP remained the undisputed leader in the global LFP market with 39,8% unit share. The vendor grew 5,5% year-over-year to 32,500 units in the first quarter. HP remains the clear market leader in its traditional area of strength, the technical market, with more than two times the share of its next competitor, Canon. HP is the number three ranked vendor in the graphics market, trailing market leaders Epson and Canon.

Canon climbed up one spot from a year ago to the number two position in the LFP market overall. The vendor ranked second in both the CAD and graphics segments with double-digit unit growth year-over-year, 18,8% and 16,6%, respectively.

Canon also enjoyed significant year-over-year growth in its biggest regional markets for technical and graphics printers, growing 22,5% in Western Europe in the technical segment and 30,3% in Japan in the graphics space.

Trailing Canon by less than one point in unit shipment share, Epson was the number three ranked vendor in the global LFP market with nearly 17 000 units shipped. The vendor grew 4,4% year-over-year to 20% share.

Epson is the top vendor in the graphic applications segment, with close to three times the share of the next vendor, Canon. While technical printers are only a small part of its LFP sales, Epson grew its shipments in this segment by 7,4% over the previous year.

Roland, which holds a 3,4% share of the overall LFP market, was the number four ranked vendor in the worldwide market. Roland’s shipments increased 12,4% year-over-year. Roland’s strength is the graphics market, where it held the fourth position worldwide and grew 4,1% from a year earlier.

Ricoh rounded out the top five vendors worldwide with a 3% share of the worldwide LFP market, and enjoyed 4.0% unit growth compared to a year earlier. The vendor holds the number four spot in the technical market, where it saw a 3,8% gain year-over-year.