Western European HCP Market, 3Q16:Mixed Performances but Laser Shipments Made Gains, Says IDC | About IDC | IDC Benelux

According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market declined by 1.5% in unit terms in 3Q16 compared with the same period a year ago, with a negative performance in the inkjet market but a positive trend for the laser market. For more than a year now, the market has declined quarter after quarter — this quarter with a 78,407 decrease in units with a shipment volume of 5.3 million devices, and a decline that is again largely due to the contraction in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues, on the other hand, grew by 3% — inkjets showed a small 1.5% increase due to business inkjets, and laser revenue increased by 3.2%.

Laser markets increased by 1.9% in 3Q16, a sharp contrast with a negative trend observed in Western Europe for the past five quarters. Laser revenue increased more than volume, indicating that prices in many markets are holding: ASPs for the laser market increased by 1.2% in 3Q16.

For the first time since 1Q13, business inkjet shipments suffered a major decline. Deemed to be a major opportunity for a fading, home-customer-centric technology, shipments fell by 13.1% in 3Q16. MFP products declined by 14.6%. Surprisingly, business inkjet printers increased by 3.8% in the quarter, with the thinking that some vendors placed a greater emphasis on shipping lasers for the quarter. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 90.3% of business inkjet shipments in 3Q16.

Overall, MFP products accounted for 83.3% of all shipments in Western Europe in 3Q16, slightly higher than the 83.2% in 3Q16. Laser and inkjet MFPs decreased by 1.4%, while laser and inkjet printers decreased by 1.8%, with shipments were generally in line with IDC forecasts.

There was a decline in the business market in 3Q16; the market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, declined by 2.7%, but the value increased by 2.7%. The highest value growth was in 31ppm+ color devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.

"The negative trend in the printing and imaging industry continued in 3Q16," said Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC's Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. "In addition to a bleak Western European market, we have observed for the first time since 1Q13 a double-digit decline for the very successful business inkjet devices. All price bands have seen declines, showing that this is a global market trend."

Main Highlights

• The overall Western European hardcopy market declined by 1.4% year on year in 3Q16, with laser growing slightly, at 1.9%.

• Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 mono printers and A4 color MFP devices showing the only real laser growth in Western Europe.

• Business inkjet declined by 13.1%, with MFPs responsible for the decrease, while printers increased by 3.8%.

Country Highlights


The German market followed the overall Western European negative trend with a 6.6% decline after four negative quarters. The business inkjet market performed below the Western European average, with a decrease of 20.4% compared with the regional average of 13.1%.

After the laser market in Germany posted negative growth for more than a year, the market grew by 3.8% with a 12.9% increase for the color segment but a 1.5% decline for mono devices. The inkjet market also decreased, by 12.2%, with consumer inkjet showing a 9.1% decrease.

Both multifunction and printer devices saw declines, with an 8.3% decrease for MFPs and a 0.4% decline for printers.


France's performance was in line with the Western European average but still showed an overall decline of 1.3% in 3Q16 over the same period last year. Inkjet increased by 1.1%, but laser declined by 9.1% — a reversal of Western European trends.

The inkjet consumer markets increased by 2% and business inkjet decreased by 6.2%, a smaller decline than in the regional market. Inkjet MFPs grew by 0.6%, but laser MFPs increased by 18.1%.

The U.K.

The U.K. recorded a poor performance again this quarter, with a 5.3% decline. This is stronger than the negative trend seen in Western Europe. Business inkjet also performed below the regional average, with an 18.4% decrease. Both the laser and inkjet markets declined, but we saw very strong growth in A3 inkjet printers (+66%) and A4 laser MFPs (+21.2%).


  • Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, November 2016.
  • All growth rates quoted are year on year (3Q16 versus 3Q15).
  • 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.
  • For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker in EMEA, please contact Phil Sargeant (psargeant@idc.com).