IDC: Western Europe Printer and Copier/MFP Market Sees Healthy Growth

According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and copier/multifunction (MFP) market grew by 3.8 percent in the second quarter of compared with the same period a year ago. IDC says there were “positive sales performances in both inkjet and laser markets for units, but value for the laser market was actually down.”

Note that in its research, IDC tracks A2–A4 devices, and that hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SFDCs).

According to IDC, the overall market has been in continuous decline since second-quarter 2015, and in second-quarter 2017, the quarter increased by 173,000 units for a market of almost 4.7 million devices. This “stellar quarter is due to the surprising growth in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts.” Revenues, on the other hand, declined by 5.6 percent. Inkjet revenues, however, increased 1.5 percent. while laser revenues fell by 6.9 percent.

Laser market shipments increased by 4.7 percent in second-quarter 2017, but values decreased, indicating that prices are getting lower: a sharp contrast from the positive trend observed last year. ASPs (asking selling prices) for the laser market decreased by 11 percent in second-quarter 2017.

Business-inkjet shipments suffered another decline, a persisting negative trend for the past four quarters, with shipments falling by 5.9 percent in second-quarter 2017. MFP products declined by 5.1 percent in second-quarter 2017 in volume, but grew by 9.7 second-quarter 2017 in value. According to IDC, this is due to an increase in the average selling price of 73 percent for A3 MFPs; the A4 format represents 75.1 percent of business inkjet MFPs. Despite this, business-inkjet MFPs accounted for 89.8 percent of business inkjet shipments in second-quarter 2017, a 0.7 percent increase from last year.

Overall, MFP products accounted for 80.7 percent of all shipments in Western Europe in second-quarter 2017, lower than the 81.4 percent in second-quarter 2016. Laser and inkjet MFPs increased by 2.9 percent, while laser and inkjet printers showed an even stronger performance with a 7.9 percent increase, with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.

There was small growth in the business market in second-quarter 2017; the market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, increased by 1.6 percent, but the value decreased by 6 percent. The highest value growth was in 1-20 ppm color devices and 151+ ppm black-and-white devices, “a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.”

“We have seen poor results in the printing devices market for quite some time, but today we can reveal that the Western European market has grown by 3.6 percent globally with positive results for both inkjet and laser segments,” commented Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “Leading countries such as Germany and the U.K. are showing double-digit increases. However, we have observed a 6.9 percent decline in laser revenues, which leads us to believe that businesses are feeling the pinch and looking for value for money.”

Main highlights of the report include:

  • The overall Western European hardcopy market grew by 3.8 percent year-over-year in second-quarter 2017, with laser increasing faster than inkjet.
  • Many segments saw significant growth this quarter, with A4 color inkjet printers and A4 color laser MFPs both showing double-digit growth in Western Europe.
  • Business inkjets declined by 5.9 percent, with printers decreasing by 12.6 percent and MFPs by 5.1 percent.

Country Highlights


The German market followed the overall Western European positive trend with 10.4 percent growth after almost two years of negative decline. The business-inkjet market performed above the Western European average, with a decrease of 4.9 percent compared with the regional average of 5.9 percent.

The inkjet market grew by 7.2 percent, while the laser market in Germany increased by 15.6 percent. This was due to the increase in volume in color laser devices, which grew by 23.6 percent in second-quarter 2017.

Multifunction devices increased by 7.1 percent, while printers grew by 20.7 percent. MFPs now represent 73.5 percent of all devices shipped in Germany this quarter, a decline from the 75.7 percent observed a year ago.


The French market performed below the Western European average, showing overall growth of 2.4 percent in second-quarter 2017 over the same period last year. Inkjet increased by 1.7 percent, but laser declined by 4.4 percent.

The inkjet consumer market increased by 1.8 percent and business inkjet grew by 1.2 percent, in contrast with the regional average that showed a 5.9 percent decline in this segment. Inkjet MFPs grew by 1.3 percent and laser MFPs increased by 9.9 percent.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom recorded a very strong performance this quarter after many quarters of negative results, with 11.9 percent growth — “way above the regional average. “This is said to be due to a 13.8 percent increase in the inkjet market, while the laser market enjoyed equally encouraging results with a 5.2 percent increase.

Business inkjet performed better than the Western European average, with only a 3.3 percent decrease. The laser market overall increased, showing a 5.2 percent decrease in shipments but a 6.8 percentdecline in value. The inkjet market grew, especially the A4 segment, which increased by 14.5 percent this quarter, and we saw positive results in A4 laser with an 8.6 percent increase.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in EMEA, contact IDC’s Phil Sargeant a

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