The Office Times

MFP market shows positive signs

According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction peripheral (MFP) market decreased by 1.6% in unit terms in Q118 compared with the same period a year ago. This is a smaller decline than was originally forecast and for some OEMs the quarter was a rather productive start to the year with many reporting year on year increases. The market decline was less than 100K and most of this contraction was from monochrome lasers rather than consumer inkjets.

This led to the overall laser markets declining by 3.6%, but on a positive note the color laser markets continued to increase by 1.1%, with gains in both the A4 and A3 MFP markets. The drive towards color is continuing and IDC forecasts that the decline in monochrome will also continue.

Inkjet markets remained relatively flat and only showed a small decline of 0.6%. As expected, the consumer markets continue to suffer, but remain quite sizeable, while but the business inkjet market showed strong growth of 10.0% year on year. This growth occurred in most segments as both printers and MFP products increased and although most growth was found in the A4 markets the A3 markets for printers and MFP devices continued to grow.

"Shipments at the start of 2018 showed better than expected results and growth that was predicted in areas such as color laser and business inkjet were validated," said Phil Sargeant, program director in IDC's Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. "This relatively upbeat quarter shows that print remains a very important function for most businesses, and the growth trends seen during Q118 are likely to remain throughout 2018."