Updated: May 3, 2021
Antonio Talia, Head of Business Analysts at CONTEXT
Demand from house-bound students and workers has driven strong performance in European printer sales during the first 11 weeks of 2021, although supply issues are impacting certain product categories, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.
The CONTEXT Weekly Revenue Trend Index compares current performance against a baseline value of 100 derived from an average four weeks in 2019.
As of Week 11, consumer printer revenues are pretty stable at a very health figure of around 150 on the index, while business sales hover just under the 100 baseline.
After declining at the end of 2020, revenue began trending up in both consumer and business markets in Week 2 and accelerated further across weeks 3-4. This was due to more products being shipped by manufacturers in Q4 2020, allowing the channel to fulfil a backlog of orders, especially in February.
The business segment has performed relatively well this year despite continued office closures. This is due to more entry level printers hitting the market across all categories, compensating for a shortage in consumer inkjets at the same price. In February, growth in units and revenue hit 11%.
All five of the region’s biggest markets plus Poland currently sit between 100-130 on the revenue index, indicating that they’re doing better than their 2019 average. Only Poland and Italy are trending down, due to a lack of new demand after an exceptional 2020 and early 2021 performance.
In terms of categories, inkjet MFPs are the clear winner so far in 2021, trending above 140 on the revenue index, while the others (laser SFP/MSP and inkjet SFP) hover around the baseline.
This performance is again driven again by consumer demand and more products being shipped in Q4 to clear backlogs that have built up during the pandemic.
“In February, sales of inkjet MFPs hit a peak of 41% year-on-year unit growth and 49% year-on-year revenue growth, but supply shortages continue to impact the overall European printer market”, said Antonio Talia, Head of Business Analysts at CONTEXT. “A shortage of inkjet printers and related supplies has spurred a behavioural shift to ink tank and laser printers in the same price region, and an increase in prices for SFP categories. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and the impact of increased business demand as lockdowns receded.”
CONTEXT also added a new printer metric this week to help channel businesses better understand market demand. Average number of pages printed (ANP) is calculated from ink cartridge/tank and toner yield weighted by units sold.
It revealed that there was 15% year-on-year reduction in ANP over the first four weeks of 2021 compared to the previous year.