Sales of printer hardware through distributors in Western Europe were up by 3% year-on-year in Q2 2018.
Data from IT market intelligence company CONTEXT, shows that this was the only positive year-on-year performance for imaging products in the past year, and marks the end of a 12-month decline.
“Historically, Q2 has generally been the weakest quarter of the year and sales in Q2 2017 were particularly low, declining by -5.5% compared to the same period the previous year,” explained CONTEXT.
“The increase in Q2 2018 is significant and brings sales back to a similar level to that seen in Q2 2016.”
The company noted inkjet multifunction printers as a key driver which boosted imaging sales by 7% Y/Y. Sales of laser devices were flat for the quarter, where the positive performance of laser MFPS was offset by the negative performance of single function printers.
Multifunction devices in general continue to outperform single-function devices and were up by 7.5%.
Despite increasing sales, the revenue generated in Q2 was flat overall with declining revenues in all categories apart from inkjet MFPs. This is primarily because the ASPs of laser devices, especially laser MFPs, are falling and sales of these account for more than 40% of the revenue generated.
Inkjets outperformed laser devices with increases in both consumer and business targeted inkjet categories. As well as being the first quarter in the year that saw positive performances for both business and consumer inkjets, Q2 also saw the consumer printers outperform those targeted at businesses with a 6% Y/Y increase in sales.
So where should you be focussing your European printer offerings?
According to CONTEXT, in Q2 2018, the strongest sales increases were seen in Portugal (37.8%), Belgium (34%) and Sweden (24.8%).
At the other end of the spectrum, sales were down 15.8% in the Netherlands, 14.6% in Denmark and 13.5% in Finland.