Sales of printer hardware through distributors in Western Europe (WE) during early Q2 were flat year-on-year (Y/Y). This improvement follows a steady decline in printer hardware sales over the last four quarters according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.
Inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs), which account for almost 60% of all Imaging sales in WE, were up by +4% during early Q2 (weeks 1–12) and hence were one of the main drivers for the overall improvement. Laser MFPs also registered a Y/Y increase in sales of +7%, whilst sales of both laser and inkjet single function printers (SFPs) were down for the quarter. This is in keeping with the ongoing shift from single-function to multi-function devices.
“There was a sharp increase in the growth trend of Consumer inkjets unit sales during the quarter”, said Ralph Mascarenhas, Market Analyst for Imaging at CONTEXT. “This sector registered a positive performance of +2%, outperforming business inkjets and laser hardware in year-on-year sales for the first time in the past year. The average Selling Price (ASPs) of business inkjets were up by 10% and those of consumer inkjets fell by 5%.”
Sales of slower consumer devices, printing 15 pages or less per minute, have been steadily increasing and were up for the quarter. These now account for almost 75% of all the consumer inkjet sales in WE as their prices fall. On the other hand, business inkjets in the highest price-band, above 600 Euro registered a strong Y/Y increase in sales and this was reflected in the overall revenue for the quarter. The revenue performance of these categories did not mirror the sales as business inkjet revenues were up by 9% and consumer inkjets were down by -3% Y/Y.
Laser hardware was down by -3% Y/Y but this was an improvement on the previous quarters. A3 printer sales continued the trend from Q1 and were up by 4% in early Q2 as the ASPs of laser printers continued to fall in early Q2. Increased sales were not sufficient to compensate for price decreases and, the revenue generated by laser printers was down by 7%.