London, 15 November 2018 - Sales of printer hardware through distributors in Western Europe (WE) during Q3 2018 were down by -1.5% year-on-year, reversing the positive trend recorded in Q2 2018, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.
Historically, Q2 and Q3 have generally been the weakest quarters of the year. Sales in Q3 2017 were particularly low and were -8.4% below those of Q3 2016. Inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs), which account for almost 67% of all imaging sales (in terms of units) in WE, were up by +1.8% during Q3 2018. However, this was offset by the negative performance of the other printing categories: laser MFPs registered a year-on-year decrease in sales of -3%, whilst sales of laser and inkjet single-function printers (SFPs) were down by -8.5% and -17% respectively. Multi function devices continued to outperform single-function devices (sales were up by +1%), confirming the ongoing shift from single- to multi function devices.
Alongside the slight decrease in sales in Q3 2018 there was an overall revenue decline of -5% with revenues falling in all categories apart from inkjet MFPs. This is primarily because the ASPs of laser devices, especially laser MFPs, are continuing to decrease and sales of these generate more than 41% of all imaging revenue.
Overall, inkjet devices continued to outperform laser devices and sales of both consumer- and business-targeted inkjets increased.
Imaging sales by category and Y/Y unit-sales growth – WE distribution
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