Western European Multifunction Printers Shipments Strengthen

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Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) markets continued to show strong growth, with Q2 2014 increasing 5.0% compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker from IDC. This resulted in a Q2 2014 market figure of 4.92 million units, with growth of more than 234,000 units. There were many positive growth areas, with notable increases in colour laser and inkjet markets, but monochrome laser markets contracted as the move to colour products continues. These figures are from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014.

OKI MC 332DNA4-Colour Multifunction LED_Laser  

As with Q1 2014, MFP products accounted for 78% of all shipments in Q2 2014. The overall MFP market increased 7.8%, while printers continued to decline, at -3.6%. The colour 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 U.K., which was the largest market in Western Europe for inkjet products in Q2 2014, largely due to increases in consumer inkjets.

Overall, most countries showed growth in Q2 2014, 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 Q2 2014 being the fifth quarter in a row that has shown year-on-year shipment increases," said Phil Sargeant, program director of 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% year on year in Q2 2014, with gains in both ink and laser markets.

Overall 1st half 2014 shipments are 6.0% higher than in Q1 2013.

Total inkjet markets increased 8.8% in Q2 2014 from Q2 2013. Business inkjets showed the most year-on-year growth, at 12.9%, and consumer markets showed positive growth of 8.2%.

Laser markets stuttered,  with growth at -1.1%, largely due to the continual decline in monochrome single-function printers and a quarterly dip in monochrome MFP products.

Overall printers declined 3.6%, while overall MFP shipments increased 7.8%, with MFP increases seen in consumer inkjets, business inkjets, and colour 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.

Main Highlights

Country Highlights


The German market increased 4.2% year on year in Q2 2014 and Germany remains the largest overall market in Western Europe. Colour 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% year on 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 Q2 2014.


The U.K. recorded growth of 22.9% and remains the second-largest market in 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%. The colour laser market increased but, as with the other main countries, the monochrome laser markets declined as the switch to colour continues. Both colour printers and MFP products showed growth in Q2 2014 and colour sales accounted for 46% of all laser products — a greater ratio than in Germany and France.


French shipments in Q2 2014 were flat compared to the same period last year. Shipments were also flat in Q1 2014 and the overall 1st half 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%. 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 colour and monochrome A4 MFP markets, while colour and monochrome printers continued to decline.

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, August 2014.


IDC tracks A2–A4 devices in the Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker.

Hardcopy peripherals include single-function printers, printer-based multifunctional systems (MFPs), and single-function digital copiers (SFDCs). Data is reported for calendar periods.