UK and European printer sales are still in the doldrums despite signs of life in other sectors of the hardware market such as PCs.
According to distribution sales data garnered by research house Context, inkjet and laser printer unit shipments across the region sank by six per cent in January on an annual comparison.
Although that is much better than the 22 per cent annual decline recorded in September, it is worse than the four per cent fall registered in December suggesting the road to recovery will be a protracted one.
This comes in contrast to the regional PC market, which finally rebounded in the final quarter of 2009. According to Gartner, western European PC shipments rose by four per cent year on year in the three months to December.
According to Context’s research, which covers distribution sales in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherland and Poland, HP remained the market behemoth with 58.9 per cent share. Epson was on 16 per cent, while Brother held the bronze medal position on 5.6 per cent. Samsung and Lexmark were next on 4.6 and 3.7 per cent, respectively.
Inkjet multi-function printers provided one bright spot, growing eight per cent in unit terms as the trend towards multi-function machines accelerated.
Context co-founder Jeremy Davies said: “Although the rate of sales decline started easing off in September 2009, when unit sales fell 22 per cent year-on-year, we are still in negative growth."
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