IT market research company, Context has released figures for printer sales in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region which show an overall decrease of 0.6% year on year. However, the headline figure, which is based on the number of units sold, doesn’t tell the whole story, as there are large variations across the region. The largest EMEA region, Western Europe, saw a decline in sales of 1% whereas Africa and Central Asia grew by 21.7% and 20.2% respectively.
The drop in Western European sales was due largely to a decrease in demand for all-in-one inkjet devices, which made up 68.1% of sales across EMEA. “In Western Europe, the effects of the economic slowdown were felt by those countries most affected…” said Jeremy Davies, CEO of Context. For example, sales in Greece fell by 35.1%, with 0.2% growth in France and 1% growth in Germany. HP retained top spot as the largest printer supplier, accounting for 44.4% of printer sales across EMEA and well ahead of the next largest supplier, Canon, with 21.4%.
The UK stood out amongst other Western European countries, as sales increased by 6% compared with the third quarter of 2010, fuelled mainly by a growth of 9.6% the all-in-one inkjet market. Across the EMEA region, the growth or decline in sales of multifunction devices has been the major factor in determining the fortunes of the printer market as a whole. The increase in printer sales in Africa corresponded to an increase in multifunction inkjet and laser printers, Central Asia saw a huge increase in laser multifunction printers and the Middle East, another growth area, had a greater demand for copier based multifunction devices.
Although the figures are based on unit sales and not revenue or profit, an increase of 6% compared with last year is an encouraging sign and the contribution of the multifunction printer market to the overall increase in sales indicates that this is now the most important market sector for manufacturers and suppliers.
by Anthony Morgan