Inkjet Printers Sales See Surge in Second Quarter

Revenue from sales of inkjet MFPs through European distributors has surged in recent weeks, but not enough to result in year-on-year growth in total printer sales for second-quarter 2022, according to IT market-research firm Context.

According to Context, although revenue for almost all types of printers was higher in May 2022 than in May 2021, overall revenues fell year-over-year in the second quarter. Higher Average Selling Prices (ASPs), and a different product mix, meant revenue dropped more slowly than sales. There were increased sales of high-end consumer printers and mid- and high-end business devices, the latter due partly to office re-openings.

Inkjet MFP sales have also benefited from the scarcity of certain laser printer models and revenues have stood above the 100 baseline on the Context Revenue Trend Index (RTI) since Week 25 of 2022. (The baseline is the weekly average revenue for 2021.) 

Context says supply issues that were still having an impact at the start of this year are being addressed, order backlogs are clearing and, at the same time, there’s substantially increased demand from the public sector. This is good news for the market as inkjet MFPs account for over 70 percent of sales by volume and almost 50 percent by revenue. 

A4 Inkjet Printers

According to Context, A4 inkjet printers have recently had a greater effect on revenues than A3 models with small businesses in particular looking for high-end consumer and business devices. As a result, this specific part of the market was above 100 on CONTEXT’s RTI in Week 26.

Ink-Cartridge Models

The recent rebound in inkjet-cartridge printer sales, particularly those for MFPs, has been seen across most major European markets but is particularly strong in Germany and Italy. Revenues have surged in these countries since Week 22 due to solid sales of high-end consumer and business printers. As a result, printer revenues in Germany in this category are following the same trajectory as last year, significantly exceeding revenue in 2020 and standing well above 100 on CONTEXT’s RTI.

The same is true in Italy thanks to distributors beginning to ship 100,000 A4 MFPs as part of a €55m public tender. The trend is set to continue over the coming weeks with the delivery of further batches of printers for the same project.

Consumer Market Reaches Saturation Point

Context also says the consumer market appears to be saturated: there’s been a dramatic decline in sales of entry-level printers over recent weeks. However, consumer revenue fell at a much slower rate thanks to the price increases brought about by continuing shortages of raw materials and components and higher logistics costs, and the product mix leaning towards high-end printers.

Entry-Level Business Printers

Context says demand for entry-level business printers has also fallen, leading to a year-on-year revenue drop of 9 percent for the second quarter. Increasing sales of mid- and high-end business devices helped cushion this, so revenues from business-targeted printers overall declined by just 5 percent.


Sales of consumables also fell sharply in the second quarter (down 18 percent ) with declining sales of ink cartridges having a major impact. Here too, revenue dropped at a much slower rate (7 percent) due to increased sales of expensive toners for business laser printers. 

Context’s second-quarter results for consumables sales are significantly worse than it had anticipated, even in the pessimistic scenario of the Context Forecasting Report – Q2 2022, although revenue based on the same situation was exactly in line with the forecast.

Conversely, when it comes to hardware, the second-quarter results for sales and revenues were very close to Context’s optimistic forecasts.

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