After the decline in unit sales caused by the pandemic crisis in 2021, the Italian large format printing market has returned to pre-Covid levels. Regular sales growth is expected for the next few years even if revenues are shrinking.
The Italian large format large format market, since 2016fy, has stabilized to 11.5k units per year, including all applications (CAD, graphics arts and textile). The big disruption caused by the pandemic led to a decrease in 2020fy by -14% in unit sales vs 2019fy. However, in 2021fy, the market surpassed to its prepandemic levels, despite the shortages of products at the end of that year and the delays in delivery times. In revenue terms, the total large format market is constantly decreasing year by year, the result of fierce competition in pricing.
The Italian large format market by applications
In terms of applications, the CAD market accounts for almost 71.5% of total large format sales, on average, per year, almost six percentual units higher than the average Western European higher than the corresponding Western European average CAD market share. In 2021fy, the CAD market increased by almost 30% vs 2020fy, compensating the lost sales in 2020fy. For the coming years till then end of 2025fy, Infosource expects the CAD market to have a CAGR growth of almost 1.5%. This growth will be influenced further by the distribution and allocation of European Public Recovery Funds followed the pandemic, as well as by the trade-in schemes that vendors will offer in the near future.
The Graphic Arts and Soft Signage accounted for 26.5% of total large format sales in 2018fy, with a slightly decreasing trend year over year, reached at 23.53% MASH of total sales in 2021fy. The high dependency of this large format segment on tourism and other cultural and business events, led to a significant decrease of almost -23% in unit sales in 2020fy vs 2019fy.
On the contrary, the digital Textile large format market is increasing year over year across Europe, and that was the case even during the pandemic. The category 24-35” in print width accounted for more than 50% of total unit sales in 2021fy, both for Italy but also for Western Europe in total.
For the coming years, the digital Textile large format market is expected to increase with a CAGR of more than 9% by the end of 2025fy. Although is still a small segment in unit sales (4% in 2021fy), its revenue is much higher accounted almost 16% in 2021fy.
Other general trends for the large format market
Regarding ink technologies, the most noticeable trend is the progressive market share reduction for solvent printers, due to the increasing environmental concern and regulations that we can observe throughout all main European countries. On the contrary, the UV curing printers showed the highest MASH increase along the last 5 years period. Last but not least, the Water-based ink technology continuous to dominate the total large format market, accounted for 80% of total large format unit sales in Italy, for 2021fy.
The installations of the Flatbed devices starting at 42” and above, were strongly affected in 2020fy, with a reduction of -30% in unit sales vs 2019fy, bouncing back in prepandemic levels in 2021fy. At the same time, the Hybrid devices in the 42” print width category and above had an even higher decrease in 2020fy by more than -40%. Considering only the Graphic Arts market, the print & cut devices are increasing their contribution in unit sales, increased from approx. 20% MASH in 2018fy to more than 25% MASH in 2021fy.
The worldwide logistics and supply problems, as well as the shortages in the semiconductor industry, which in turn are causing shortages in almost all technology industries, will also affect the global large format printing market along 2022 H1 period. It is expected that these shortages will start balancing in H2 2022.
Considering the total Italian large format market, and despite that this market is mature and saturated, Infosource’s Production & Industrial Printing team is expecting a smooth increase in brand new unit sales year over year, with a CAGR of less than 2% by the end of 2025fy, taking into account the global socio-economic and natural resources evolution.
Although the Italian large format market as a whole is now mature, Infosource’s production and industrial printing team expects regular growth in units sold in the coming years, with a CAGR of less than 2% by the end of 2025. This possible growth will also depend on the global evolution of socio-economic and natural resources.
Eirini Louizou, Senior Analyst Industrial Printing
Sabine de Dardel, Regional Manager