IDC: Western Europe Printer/Copier/MFP Market Continues to Strengthen

western europe sateliteWestern European printer and MFP markets continued to show strong growth, with second-quarter 2014 growth increasing 5.0 percent compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC). This resulted in a second-quarter 2014 market figure of 4.92 million units, with growth of more than 234,000 units. IDC says there were many positive growth areas, with notable increases in color laser and inkjet markets, but monochrome laser markets again contracted as the move to color products continues. This is the fifth quarter in a row that shipments have increased year-over-year in Western Europe.

Note that IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in its Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, and that hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based MFPs, and single-function digital copiers. Data is reported for calendar periods.

As with first-quarter 2014, MFPs accounted for 78 percent of all shipments in second-quarter 2014. The overall MFP market increased 7.8 percent, while printers continued to decline, at -3.6 percent. The color laser and inkjet markets increased for both MFP and printer products, but monochrome markets declined in both product categories and printer products declined at a greater rate than MFP.

Inkjet markets showed good growth in both business and consumer segments. Most inkjet growth was from the United Kingdom, which was the largest market in Western Europe for inkjet products in second-quarter 2014, largely due to increases in shipments of consumer inkjets.

According to IDC, overall, most countries showed growth in 2Q14, but there are still some signs that certain markets are struggling with the recovery. Growth patterns are also varied across those countries with positive results, with some showing strong double-digit growth and others remaining in low-single-digit growth.

“Confidence has clearly now returned to the Western European printing and imaging markets with second-quarter 2014 being the fifth quarter in a row that has shown year-on-year shipment increases,” said Phil Sargeant, program director for IDC’s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group. “The growth was initially being driven by business markets but consumer markets have shown gains in some countries, meaning that market confidence is also filtering through to home users.”

Main Highlights

  • The overall Western European hardcopy market increased 5 percent year-over year in second-quarter 2014, with gains in both ink and laser markets.
  • Overall first-quarter 2014 shipments are 6.0 percent higher than in first-quarter 2013.
  • Total inkjet markets increased 8.8 percent in second-quarter 2014 from second-quarter 2013. Business inkjets showed the most year-over-year growth, at 12.9 percent, and consumer markets showed positive growth of 8.2 percent.
  • Laser markets stuttered, however, with growth at -1.1 percent, largely due to the continual decline in monochrome single-function printers and a quarterly dip in monochrome MFPs.
  • Overall printer shipments declined 3.6 percent, while overall MFP shipments increased 7.8 percent, with MFP increases seen in consumer inkjets, business inkjets, and color laser products.
  • High-speed inkjet printers increased by a quarter when compared to the same period a year ago, indicating that these devices are becoming popular in a variety of markets.

Country Highlights


The German market increased 4.2 percent year-over-year in second-quarter 2014 (the same growth rate as first-quarter 2014) and Germany remains the largest overall market in Western Europe. Color-laser markets showed strong growth patterns, especially in A4 MFP markets, but monochrome markets declined at a greater rate and as a result the overall laser markets in Germany contracted 2.1 percent year-over-year. Although monochrome markets declined, they remain a very sizeable market, as they still account for almost two-thirds of all laser shipments. Growth in the inkjet markets remained strong, and both consumer and business products increased, with business inkjet devices accounting for one in five of all inkjet products shipping in Germany in second-quarter 2014.


French shipments in 2Q14 were flat compared to the same period last year. Shipments were also flat in first-quarter 2014 and the overall first-quarter 2014 performance for France is at the same level as it was a year ago. Laser markets were flat and inkjet markets increased, but only by 0.2 percent. Serial impact dot-matrix markets were negative, and this led to an overall flat market. In contrast to Germany and other countries, consumer inkjets showed a slight dip but there was double-digit year-on-year growth for business inkjets. The strongest laser markets were the color and monochrome A4 MFP markets, while color and monochrome printers continued to decline.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom recorded growth of 22.9 percent and remains the second-largest market in second-quarter 2014, overtaking France. Very strong consumer inkjet market growth is again one of the main reasons for growth and though there was some business inkjet growth, laser markets contracted 5.9 percent. The color-laser market increased but, as with the other main countries, the monochrome laser markets declined as the switch to color continues. Both color printers and MFP products showed growth in second-quarter 2014 and color sales accounted for 46 percent of all laser products — a greater ratio than in Germany and France.

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

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