The printer market could be set for a revival after a sales decline in western Europe halted in Q2, according to Context.
The analyst said that sales of inkjet multifunction printers, which account for almost 60 per cent of all imaging sales, rose four per cent in the second quarter and were one of the main contributors to the improvement in the market.
Ralph Mascarenhas, market analyst for imaging at Context, said falling prices contributed to a two per cent sales growth in consumer inkjet printers, which saw this market outperform business inkjets and laser hardware for the first time in 12 months.
"There was a sharp increase in the growth trend of consumer inkjet unit sales during the quarter," he said.
"This sector registered a positive performance, outperforming business inkjets and laser hardware in year-on-year sales for the first time in the past year."
Business inkjets in the highest price brand (over £530) also showed a strong year-on-year increase in sales and this was reflected in the overall revenue for the second quarter.
"The average selling price of business inkjets was up by 10 per cent and that of consumer inkjets fell by five per cent," said Mascarenhas.
Laser hardware showed a three per cent decline year on year, but this was seen as an improvement on previous quarters. The average selling price of laser printers continued to fall in Q2, but increased sales were not sufficient to compensate for the price decreases, causing laser printer revenue to fall by seven per cent.
Portugal, Belgium and Ireland showed the strongest performance in printer hardware sales, increasing by 32 per cent, 28 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
However, these were offset by declines in larger markets such as the Netherlands, which saw a 22 per cent decrease in sales, and Germany, which saw a five per cent decrease.
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