According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market declined by 4,4% in unit terms in 4Q16 compared with the same period a year ago, with negative sales performances in both inkjet and laser markets for units, but values for both were actually up.
The overall market has been in continuous decline since 2Q15 — and in 4Q16 the quarter declined by 289 000 units to give a market of 6,2-million devices and a decline that is again largely due to the contraction in colour laser printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues, on the other hand, grew by 2,2% — inkjets showed an increase of 1,5% and laser revenues by 2,3%.
Laser market shipments decreased by 7,4% in 4Q16, but values increased, indicating that prices in many markets are holding: ASPs for the laser market increased by 0,8% in 4Q16. This also indicates higher specification products shipping, including production.
For the second consecutive quarter, business inkjet shipments suffered a decline. Shipments fell by 7,1% in 4Q16. MFP products declined by 6,3% in volume but only decreased by 2,5% in value. This is due to an increase in the average selling price for A4 MFPs of 6,1%; this format represents 73,6% of business inkjet MFPs. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 93,3% of business inkjet shipments in 4Q16.
Overall, MFP products accounted for 83,2% of all shipments in Western Europe in 4Q16, higher than the 81,9% in 4Q16. Laser and inkjet MFPs decreased by 2,9%, while laser and inkjet printers decreased by 11,3%, with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.
There was a decline in the business market in 4Q16; the market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, declined by 4%, but the value increased by 0,4%. The highest value growth was in 31-44ppm colour devices and 70-90ppm monochrome devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.
“The negative trend in the printing and imaging industry continued in 4Q16,” says Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “And the business inkjet segment, which until recently enjoyed very strong growth, is not exempt from the global decline. The volume of business inkjet devices is decreasing, but value decreased at a much slower pace. This is due to the increase in the average selling price for the MFPs, and higher sales in the workgroup/shared devices segment.”
The overall Western European hardcopy market declined by 4,4% year on year in 4Q16, with laser decreasing faster than inkjet.
Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 colour laser MFPs and A3 colour inkjet printers showing the only real growth in Western Europe.
Business inkjets declined by 7,1%, with printers decreasing by 15,4% and MFPs by 6,3%.