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Western European Hardcopy Markets Finally Return to Growth, According to IDC

According to research released by International Data Corporation (IDC), in the second quarter of 2013 the overall hardware market returned to growth, with commercial markets leading the way as laser shipments increased year-on-year by 11.6%, while inkjet shipments remained flat. The overall market increased 4.3% in the second quarter of 2013 to just over 4.69 million units compared to 4.50 million units a year ago. However, strong competition in many segments led to a 3.3% decline in the dollar value market for hardware in 2Q13 compared to 2Q12.
“Mobility, security and the explosion of digital content is driving the need for modern devices that control, monitor and enable users to print at their convenience while ensuring that businesses comply with the latest regulations,” said Arnaud Gagneux, director of IDC-s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group. “Businesses are therefore resuming their investment in more efficient and productive imaging hardware. This is illustrated by the growth of laser devices and business inkjets. While household printing needs are limited, businesses are streamlining their fleets, optimizing their processes and leveraging the latest technologies to enable their management to focus on core business priorities. “
Phil Sargeant, program director of IDC-s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group, said “There have been signs in recent quarters that market declines were slowing, and particularly strong laser shipments in CY2Q have led to the first year-on-year growth for the hardware market for 2 years. More countries that displayed growth than declines but it remains to be seen if this momentum can continue for the rest of the year. Strong laser shipments indicate higher investment and spending by the commercial markets, but consumer markets still show some weaknesses.”
The majority of the market leaders showed good year-on-year growth. The top 5 market leaders were also ranked the same as CY1Q. The top 5 vendors accounted for over 87% of all shipments, the majority of which are inkjets.
Main Highlights
– The overall Western European hardcopy market increased year-on-year by 4.3% in 2Q13, but some country growth patterns remained negative.
– Total inkjet markets remained flat as they increased by a modest 0.1% in the second quarter of 2013 from the second quarter of 2012. Inkjet printers continued to decline as expected and MFP shipments increased.
– The majority of market growth is due to increases in laser products, which is a positive indicator that confidence is returning to business markets. Both printers and MFPs showed double-digit growth.
– Color products showed the strongest growth year-on-year at 17.3%. Indeed the whole color segment showed strength with both the overall A4 and A3 segments in printers and MFPs increasing.
– The overall monochrome market increased year-on-year by 10.1%, but the difference to color is that the A3 market continued to slide as expected.
– Business inkjets increased year-on-year by 22.5% to over 345k, but consumer inkjets contracted once again by 2.3% to just over 2.56 million.
– High speed inkjets bounced back to record year-on-year growth of 57.1%.
Country Highlights
The German market showed the largest unit growth year-on-year in CY2Q. The overall market increased by almost 88k units, or 8.6%. Laser markets in Germany were particularly strong as shipments increased by 29.0% but the inkjet markets still showed sluggishness, declining 4.5%. Shipments of monochrome A4 printers were very strong and the German market accounted for a third of all shipments and most of the brands showing strong increases. The printer and MFP markets also showed double-digit growth and the strongest market was the A4 printer market.
Business inkjet shipments increased by 11.6% year-on-year, but consumer inkjet markets remained subdued as they declined year-on-year by 7.2%.
France also continued to increase. Shipments increased by almost 53k units or 6.9% when compared to the same period a year ago but the major difference to Germany is that in France the laser markets slightly declined year-on-year while inkjet increased. The laser markets showed a dip of 1.6%, with monochrome markets showing a 5.2% decline, but color was more positive with growth of 7.9% year-on-year and most growth was from A4 and A3 MFP products. As with Germany A4 monochrome printer shipments achieved successful growth patterns but a slump in A4 MFP product shipments led to overall laser declines.
The French inkjet markets differed to those of Germany in that both business and consumer shipments increased year-on-year, by 16.5% and 11.4% respectively.
United Kingdom
Of the Big 3 countries in Western Europe the United Kingdom had some good growth patterns in some markets but continued to contract in others. Overall the United Kingdom declined year-on-year by 3.0%, largely due to continued declines in consumer inkjet products.
Laser markets remained strong and increased by 16.9% year-on-year and apart from A3 monochrome products all of the major laser segments increased, with again the largest market being A4 monochrome printers, followed by A4 monochrome MFPs and A4 color MFPs.
There was strong growth in business inkjets, up 25.6%, while consumer inkjets declined 11.3% year-on-year. The United Kingdom remains one of the stronger business inkjet markets and has the greatest amount of A3 business inkjets shipping.
– Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker August 2013.
– All growth rates quoted are year-on-year (2Q13 v 2Q12)
– IDC tracks A2-A4 devices in the Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker.
– Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SFDCs). Data is reported for calendar periods.
– For more information about IDC-s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in EMEA, please contact Arnaud Gagneux (agagneux@idc.com).
IDC will shortly be publishing an EMEA study looking at printing, scanning and document management among smartphone and tablet users. This research will provide a wealth of insight and data on how the rapidly growing mobile technology trend will impact hardcopy markets. For more information, please contact mheath@idc.com

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