The printer market is growing according to latest figures. According to data published by European IT market analysis firm Context, unit shipments of printer hardware to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) continued to improve in Q2 2017 and registered an increase of four per cent year-on-year compared to a decline of three per cent in Q2 2016. While there was positive performance across the board, the increase was driven mainly by shipments of multifunction inkjet devices.
Western Europe accounted for almost 70 per cent of all printer hardware shipments to EMEA and mirrored the performance in the region as a whole – a significant improvement on the six per cent decline in the same quarter last year. Shipments of laser multifunction printers (MFPs) registered growth of 10 per cent year-on-year and were largely responsible for the overall increase.
“This was mainly due to shipments to Germany, France, and the UK”, said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Market Analyst at Context. “Sell-in of MFPs accounted for the growth of 3 per cent in France, while there was a double-digit increase in sell-in across all categories in Germany and the UK – contrasting with the double-digit declines seen in the same quarter last year. In the UK, this was mostly because of increasing unit shipments of inkjet MFPs, whereas sell-in of laser hardware accounted for 12 per cent year-on-year growth in Germany.
Meanwhile, unit shipments to Italy and the Netherlands contracted, and Spain registered an increase of a single percentage point for the quarter, driven by strong performance of laser MFPs.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) continued to outperform other regions with unit shipments increasing by 16 per cent, again following a double-digit decline last year. An increase in sell-in of inkjet MFPs mainly accounts for the positive performance, but unit shipments of laser single-function printers (SFPs) also registered double-digit growth for the quarter. UAE and Saudi Arabia drove the increase in the region. Printer hardware sell-in to Turkey grew by five per cent year-on-year; most of the growth was due to inkjet MFPs as unit shipments of SFPs continued to decline.
Printer hardware sell-in to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) fell by three per cent year-on-year in Q2 2017, in spite of sell-in of inkjet technology devices registering an increase of nine per cent, because of poor sales of laser hardware and a particularly strong performance in the same quarter last year. Unit shipments to Russia declined by five per cent year-on-year and, to a large extent, influenced the overall performance of the region. Negative results in Poland and Romania were also due to weak unit shipments of laser hardware for which increasing sell-in levels of inkjet MFPs could not compensate. In contrast, sell-in of printer hardware to Kazakhstan and Belarus continued to increase and are driven mainly by laser technology devices.