Western European MFP Market Has Another Quarter of Poor Volume

Western European MFP Market Has Another Quarter of Poor Volume

Foto: Fotolia

According to research by 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 color 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 color devices and 70–90ppm mono devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.

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 color laser MFPs and A3 color 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%

The German market followed the overall Western European negative trend with a 0.9% decline after five negative quarters. The business inkjet market performed below the Western European average, with a decrease of 2.5% compared with the regional average of 7.1%. Surprisingly, the inkjet market grew by 0.3% while the laser market in Germany decreased by 3.1%. This was due to the increase in volume in consumer inkjet devices, which grew by 1.9% in 4Q16. Multifunction devices increased by 0.2%, while printers declined by 4.4%. MFPs now represent 76.2% of all devices shipped in Germany this quarter, an increase on the 75.4% observed a year ago.

The French market performed below the Western European average, showing an overall decline of 5% in 4Q16 over the same period last year. Inkjet increased by 2.5%, but laser declined by 12.7% — the same trend observed in Western Europe. The inkjet consumer market decreased by only 0.9% while business inkjet decreased by 12.2%, a higher decline than in the regional market. Inkjet MFPs grew by 1%, but laser MFPs decreased by 9.1%.

The U.K. recorded a poor performance again this quarter, with a 0.7% decline. However, this decrease in volume is a lot smaller than the 4.4% decline in Western Europe. Business inkjet performed below the regional average, with a 12.4% decrease. Only the laser market declined, with a 16.1% decrease in shipments. However, the inkjet market grew by 2.7% this quarter, and we saw very strong growth in A3 inkjet (+37.3%) and A3 laser printers (+9.7%).

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