Russian Market coping well in the COVID year

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Regional Report by Petr Kramerius, Regional Manager, Infosource

WESTERN EUROPEAN MARKET

The total Western European inkjet printer market was up by 4% at 13.4 million units in the full year 2020 period compared to the pandemic year 2019, with increases in more than half all the 17 markets in the region. The total inkjet printer market in FY 2020 was much larger than the overall toner copier/MFP market in WEU, by almost full 10 million units (13.4 million inkjet units compared to approximately 3.6 million toner copier/MFP units).

Multifunctional (MF) inkjet printers registered an increase of 3% and accounted for a 95% share of total inkjet sales. In comparison, single function (SF) inkjet unit sales increased by a full 37% (to the exact level of sales recorded in 2017). The home/consumer personal market was up 6%, while the business market was down by just 3%.

The business market share from the total inkjet market in FY 2020 was 19% (in Eastern Europe, this share was only 11%). The total ink tank market (CISS – Continuous Ink Supply System) continued its substantial increase with a stunning rate of 104%, from about 895k units to approx. 1.8 million units. The increase was due to an immense growth for HP (from 75k to 744k units due to the introduction of four brand new CISS models in 2020) and Canon (from 80k units to 162k units), both behind top Epson with 909k units (an increase of 25%). The inkjet A3 market took a downfall of 13%.

The overall upward trend of unit sales in FY 2020 was not steep in the largest markets in the region, however these markest only added to an already substantial base of inkjet MFP. The largest French market remained almost flat and increased by just 1%, while the United Kingdom (an increase of 8%) surpassed Germany (decrease of 1%) to become, for the first time, the second largest inkjet WEU market. As already mentioned, in FY 2020 there were also markets with a decreasing trend. For example the largest of them, the Netherlands market (6th largest market overall, was down 5% and the Swiss market down 6%.

In terms of A3 sales (a specific purely business market), the double digit downward trend of this important market (from a revenue point of view) was reflected in nearly all markets. The only exceptions were Greece and Turkey, which registered increases. The sharpest decline has occurred in the United Kingdom, where the A3 market was down 18%, while the German market was down by 14%. Within the A3 inkjet market, the CISS share was 17%, with Epson still holding an almost absolute share of 99.9% with its unit sales at the same level as in FY 2019 (106k units), and Brother at second place with an almost invisible share of 0.1% with placements of new models MFC-T4500 DW and HL-T4000 DW.

In terms of brands, last year the total market picture remained the same as in FY 2019. HP retained its dominant position for total inkjet sales with a slight increase of its market share (1%) to around 51% due to unit sales increase of 13%, with HP home/consumer personal sales moving up by 19%, and business-class inkjet sales down 16%. As already mentioned, HP sales of CISS devices (introduced in 2016) went up from 75k to 744k units due to four newly introduced models – DeskJet Plus 4110, 4120, 4152 and 4155. However, the total CISS sales still represented only 11% of HP total inkjet sales in WEU. HP continued to run its “Instant Ink” program in several countries in the region. The customer signs up to a cartridge replacement service when the printer runs low on ink (the printer sends ink level information to HP).

Canon total market share was up by just 1% in FY 2020 with increases in home/personal inkjet sales (7%) and business-class (13%). Canon sales of CISS devices more doubled during the period (from 80k to 162k units) and accounted for 5% of Canon total inkjet sales in FY 2020.

Epson total market share decreased by 11% in FY 2020; it´s home/consumer personal inkjet sales decreased by 27% due to large decreases in France, Germany and Italy. The business category sales increased by 13%. CISS sales were up by 25% (to 909k units) and represented a full quarter of Epson total inkjet sales. Epson also continued to offer storage tanks, which are supposed to last for two years – the EcoTank line-up.

Brother total market share fell from 4% to 2.4% due to continuing primary orientation towards laser devices. In FY 2020, a decrease in total unit sales of 35% was registered. It´s home/consumer personal inkjet sales decreased by 39%, while the business-class sales decreased by 31% and CISS decreased by 7% (to 9k units).

Within the home/consumer personal devices market, HP placed six models in the top ten bestseller models sales, with the top three places occupied by DeskJet 2720 e-AiO, DeskJet 2723 e-AiO and Envy 6010 e-AiO, followed by Canon Pixma TS 3350 BL. In the business class category, HP placed five models in the top ten, with top four models and number one best seller OfficeJet Pro 9013 All-in-One. In the CISS category, HP quite surprisingly pushed Epson from the first positions by taking the first top five positions with new DeskJet Plus line up and Smart tank 518 model. Epson followed on 6th place with EcoTank ET-M1120 and on following positions with other models.

EASTERN EUROPEAN MARKET

The total Eastern European inkjet printer market in FY 2020 registered an increase of 9% to 2.5 million units (the total inkjet printer market was larger than the total toner copier/MFP market by 289k units). For comparison, the total Eastern European inkjet market represented about 19% of the entire Western European inkjet market in terms of unit sales.

The multifunctional (MF) inkjet printer market increased by 12%. It represented 90% of the total inkjet market (in Western Europe MF represented 95%), while single function (SF) printer sales decreased by 9% (to the level of sales recorded in 2016). The home/consumer personal market in FY 2020 increased by 9%, while the business market grew by a full 18%.

The business market share of the total inkjet market in FY 2020 was around 11% (in Western Europe, this share was 19%, as mentioned above). The total ink tank (CISS) market registered an increase of 11%, while the inkjet A3 market went down by 24%. Within the A3 inkjet market, the CISS share was 25%, with Epson present as the only dominant brand of this category (99.8% share, Brother 0.2% share), but with a 39% decrease of A3 CISS unit sales.

Overall the trends were mixed in the Eastern European total inkjet market, with a slight majority of the countries (13 markets out of 24) experienced decreases in unit sales outbalanced by increases or flat levels in the large markets of Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. The largest Russian market (31% share, 777k units) decreased by 3%, the Polish market grew by 19% (26% share, 646k units), the Czech Republic market was up by 16% (10% share, 248k units), and the Romanian market was up by 37% (7% share, 175k units). In terms of brandsin FY 2020, the market picture was the same (like in the WEU) compared to FY 2019, as HP retained its top position followed by Canon, Epson and Brother.

HP cemented its dominant position on the total inkjet market with an increase of the market share around 3%, supported by a 20% increase in unit sales. The higher market share arose from a substantial increase in the main Russian, where in H1 2020 HP experienced shipment and distribution problems but was able to overcome these issues in H2 2020. HP home/consumer personal inkjet sales increased 27%, while its business-class inkjet sales were down by a full 40%. HP sales of CISS devices were down up 32% and represented 19% of HP total inkjet sales in EEU.

Canon market share remained the same in FY 2020 despite an increase in total sales by 13%. The home/consumer personal inkjet sales increased by 12% and business-class inkjet sales by 14%. Canon sales of CISS devices were up by 19% and accounted for 26% of Canon total inkjet sales in FY 2020.

Epson market share decreased in FY 2020 by 3% due to a unit sales fall of 2%. However, its home/consumer personal inkjet sales increased by 18%, while the business-class sales increased by a full 72%. CISS sales registered an increase of 72% (from about 522k to approx. 561k units) and represented 91% of Epson total inkjet sales.

Brother unit sales decreased 16%, with home/consumer personal inkjet sales down 15%, while business-class sales went down by 23%. CISS registered a decrease of 26% and represented a 57% share of Brother total inkjet sales within EEU.

Within the first top ten home/consumer personal devices, Canon continued to hold the first position with Pixma MG 2540S as the bestseller model, followed by HP DeskJet 2720 e-AiO and DeskJet 2320 AiO. HP placed six models within the top ten, when both Canon and Epson two models. The business-class category was fully dominated by Epson in FY 2020 with number one bestseller model EcoTank ET-M2110, followed by four other models of the EcoTank line-up. Overall, Epson placed eight models of the EcoTank business line-up in the top ten, HP only two models on 6th (Officejet 6950 e-AiO) and 9th (OfficeJet Pro 8023 AiO) place. Within the CISS category, the first two positions were taken by Epson EcoTank ET-L3150, and ET-L3151, followed by HP Smart Tank 518 and Canon Pixma G 3411.

SUMMARY

The total WEU inkjet market in FY 2020 discontinued its steady continuing decline (since FY 2014) due to the Covid pandemic reasons – higher demand for home/consumer devices, with the specific segment like ink tank (CISS) devices registering a staggering increase in the home/consumer market due to four HP new models (the DeskJet Plus line-up). The inkjet market increased in Western Europe in terms of unit shipments. However, market values continued to suffer as overall A3 and production device shipments were still hampered by the pandemic lockdowns, and the total market revenue went down slightly.

Shipments into business environments showed signs of some recovery by the end of the year. Still, as at the beginning of the year, also by the end of FY 2020, the inkjet market was dominated by requirements from home workers, educators and families. This led to increased demand within the home/personal inkjet market. These types of devices were mostly acquired through e-commerce or retail stores, but many OEMs and enterprises also provided devices to their home workers through print and subscription services process.

A different situation took place in the Eastern European inkjet market, which in FY 2020 registered the highest increase of unit sales in the last five years (to the level of FY 2016 sales), which accentuates the popularity of inkjet devices within the EEU markets. Opposite to WEU, the unit sales increase was also reflected by a revenue increase in the total market. An essential factor triggered by the Covid pandemic was that customers traditionally inclined to purchase lower price devices were in FY 2020 even more focused on low pricing. Contrary to WEU, the business market increased significantly, as businesses who found themselves out of cash prefered to acquire inkjet business devices.

Generally, high printing quality, lower investment costs, special offerings to customers regarding ink savings, and other special incentives strengthened the popularity of the inkjet printers during the pandemic year. These factors are expected to further propel the Western and Eastern Europan inkjet printers markets in the following years. The demand for multifunctional inkjet printers is expected to be higher than for laser devices in the home/consumer segment, especially in EEU. As for the business segment, the sales of A3 inkjet devices were disrupted by the Covid pandemic as businesses everywhere suffered either lack of financial funds of halted investments, and many projects had to be cancelled or postponed. However, after the crisis, office inkjet devices should continue their growth as they are already extensively used in the business environment.

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