Multifunction laser printers were the only growth category, in unit terms, in the UK printer market in Q1 2014, according to a new report by market tracker Context.
Sales through distribution increased by 11 per cent in units and 12 per cent in revenue, as overall printer hardware sales declined by four per cent year-on-year in Q1 2014.
While this represents a slow in growth against the previous four quarters, it was still the second strongest growth in Europe, surpassed only by Spain.
The quarter also saw a sustained growth of consumables through distribution, which went up by 19.3 per cent in revenue, making it the fourth consecutive quarter of double digit growth, averaging at 20 per cent growth per quarter.
This positive outlook on the market was evident when PCR asked retailers about the strength of their printer sales.
“Considering the rise of portable devices, the print market is being quite resilient to fighting the decline,” commented Dave Jones, Ebuyer product manager.
“Rather than trying to drive the print market through the old fashioned methods, manufacturers are embracing print through portable devices with features such as AirPrint, auto on and off, WLAN Pictbridge and NCR. Printing is no longer a static technology – it’s now mobile, adaptable and fluid.”
GHI Computers’ Gavin Holder told PCR: “Printers are still something we give over a large portion of our retail space to.
“We still sell a lot and benefit from the follow-up ink purchases which provide us with excellent margins. Our ink business is one of our key money makers; for this reason we shall always stock printers.”