Western Europe Printer, MFP, Copier Market Continues to Recover, Reports IDC

The overall Western European hardcopy market showed year-on-year growth for the second quarter in a row as the total market increased 3.6% in the third quarter of 2013 to over 5.76 million units, compared with 5.56 million units a year ago, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in its Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker. Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SFDCs).

There was more positive news as both ink and laser markets increased year on year by 2.6% and 6.5%. However, there were some pockets of decline and some countries continued to stutter, but in general the market outlook remains positive for the rest of the year.

Commenting on these headline numbers, Arnaud Gagneux, director of IDC’s Western European Imaging Printing and Document Solutions group, said, “We are seeing strong demand for document management solutions and managed services which is driving sales of smart devices, printers, or multifunctions [MFPs] that can communicate with a wider mobile infrastructure. Business inkjet is also becoming a profitable niche in the market with more products being made available.”

Phil Sargeant, program director of IDC’s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions group, said, “A second growth quarter clearly shows that market recovery is gaining momentum and the recent gains of CY2Q were not just a blip. Business and commercial markets continue to lead the way with positive growth, while consumer markets remain flat but at least haven’t declined further and have stabilized.”

Main Highlights

  • The overall Western European hardcopy market increased year on year by 3.6% in 3Q13, with gains in both ink and laser markets.
  • Total inkjet markets increased 2.6% in 3Q13 from 3Q12. Consumer inkjet markets remained flat while business inkjet markets increased year on year by 25.6%.
  • Laser markets remained strong with positive growth seen in many business and commercial markets. The year-on-year growth rate for all laser products was 6.5% and the largest single market was again monochrome printers.
  • The monochrome markets increased year on year by 7.5%, and were twice the size of the color laser markets.
  • Color laser increased year on year by 4.5% but there was a slight decline for printers — the largest color market in CY3Q was A4 multifunction (MFP) products, which showed positive growth.
  • Serial impact dot matrix markets declined year on year by 36.7%.
  • Production markets increased year on year by 9.5% and both the monochrome cut-sheet and color cut-sheet markets increased.
  • High-speed inkjet production markets recorded year-on-year growth of 27.8%.

Country Highlights


The German market performed strongly, increasing year on year by 8.9% to 1.47 million units as both inkjet and laser markets increased. For inkjet markets, business inkjets showed the greatest year-on-year growth but there were also encouraging signs from consumer markets, which saw growth of over 50,000 units. Within the laser markets the only area to show a decline was the A3 monochrome MFP, which was expected. Most growth was seen in A4 monochrome printers, with the market accounting for 43% of German laser shipments.


France showed a year-on-year decline of 1.2% as consumer inkjet markets continued to slide. The declines in the French consumer inkjet market were greater than the increases in business inkjets and laser products, and this is why the overall markets fell. In a similar scenario to Germany, the French A4 monochrome market showed the most growth, which indicates the continued strong demand for simple monochrome printer products.


Of the Big 3 markets, the U.K. showed the largest year-on-year percentage growth at 12.1%. In contrast to the other major countries, the laser markets increased slightly while the inkjet markets showed solid growth of 15.0% to become the second-largest inkjet market, ahead of France. Business inkjet markets almost doubled in size and consumer inkjet markets increased by almost 10%. This indicates the business inkjet market in the U.K. is one of the strongest in Europe.

  • For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in EMEA, please contact Arnaud Gagneux (agagneux@idc.com).
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