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Business Printer Revenue Overtakes Consumer Market as Offices Reopen

Antonio Talia, Head of Business Analysts at CONTEXT
Antonio Talia, Head of Business Analysts at CONTEXT

Revenue sales through distribution of business printers across Europe have remained significantly higher than those of consumer devices in January thanks to the strong performance of Laser SFPs, according to new data from CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

CONTEXT’s Index Revenue Trend graph recorded sales figures for consumer and business markets criss-crossing several times during the course of 2021. But since around Week 50 last year, a gap has opened up between the two, with business revenues on top. They crossed the 100 index baseline in January and continue to rise above the weekly average revenue for 2021.

While volume sales for both business and consumer printers were lower over this period compared to a year ago, business volumes fell at a slower rate”, said Antonio Talia, Head of Business Analysts at CONTEXT. “Revenues increased thanks to a different product mix, featuring more high-end devices, and price increases for entry-level and mid-range devices. The latter trend was influenced by a shortage of consumer printers in the same price range—especially Laser SFPs—driving up the average selling price (ASP) and overall revenue performance.

Laser SFPs lead the way

Revenues across all printer categories have been trending upwards since the start of 2022, although inkjet printers are furthest behind due to product shortages in prior months. Laser SFPs now have an index score of over 120, meaning they’re 20% higher than the average for 2021. This is due to price increases for entry-level printers in consumer and business segments, as a result of product shortages. It’s also the result of more sales of mid- and high-end business devices, especially among SMBs, due to offices reopening.

However, the UK and Spain are the only top European countries with upward trending revenues since Week 2. The sharp upward curve in recent weeks has seen both cross the index 100 baseline, and closely resembles last year’s performance in each market. It’s reasonable to assume that revenue in both countries will continue to trend above the 2021 average for the first half of 2022, boosted by business sales.

Pages printed declines

The average number of pages printed (ANP) declined by 3% year-on-year in January. This figure is calculated from the yield of pages printed per cartridges/tanks and toners, and the units sold for these consumable products. The decline was mainly driven by the negative performance of toners, which dropped -3.3% year-on-year.

The performance of ink cartridges and ink tanks failed to compensate for this slump in toner ANP, recording about the same number of pages printed as a year ago. That’s despite the solid performance of ink tanks, which continue to gain market share over inkjet cartridges.

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