Distributors across Western Europe (WE) saw the ongoing decline in sales of business inkjets soften in Q4 2017 with revenues flat, which was an improvement on previous quarters, according to data published by IT market analyst Context.
The year-on-year decline in distributor sales stood at -4% for both the quarter and the year as a whole. Revenues remained constant due to a +3% price increase: ASP reached €119 due to changes in the product mix with vendors introducing more expensive business inkjets that feature advances in technology.

HP continues to lead with a market share of 56%, followed by Epson, which had a share of 31% in Q4 2017, then Brother and Canon at 7% and 4% respectively. All vendors saw quarterly sales decline, except for Canon, whose sales increased +14% year-on-year on a small base.

“Sales of business inkjets grew in most major Western European countries,” says Zivile Brazdziunaite, imaging market analyst at Context. “However, in Germany, which is the largest market in the region, there was a strong decline in Q4 2017 with sales falling by -12% year-on-year.”

Distributor sales of business inkjets increased by +15% in France and returned into growth in Spain, Italy and the UK. The positive performance in these countries is mainly due to higher sales of A3 business inkjets.

Although A3 printers account for less than 20% of all business inkjets sold by WE distributors, sales continue to increase and grew by +3% year-on-year in Q4 2017.

The main driver of this HP, which performed well in retail and SMB channels and saw its share of the segment increase to 38%, with distribution sales of both low-end and high-end A3 business inkjets increasing.

At the high end, where Epson dominates, HP’s growth was mainly due to sales of its new PageWide models, which started selling in Q3 2017. Brother holds a share of 35% in the segment, followed by Epson with 20%.