Middle East printer sales outstrip EMEA average

Sales of printers, copiers and multifunctional products in the Middle East grew seven times faster than the EMEA average during the first half of 2008.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  August 19, 2008

Sales of printers, copiers and multifunctional products in the Middle East grew seven times faster than the EMEA average during the first half of 2008.

Economic uncertainty in Western Europe dragged overall EMEA growth down to just 2.2% year-on-year during the first six months of 2008, but the Middle East and Africa region demonstrated its potential by expanding 14.1% over the same period.

Research house Gartner Dataquest said first-half EMEA printer shipments reached 23.8 million units, but it did not reveal how much of this figure came from the Middle East.

“The results for the first half of 2008 showed single-digit growth across the print markets in EMEA, with second quarter results showing signs of an economic slowdown, which could continue into the rest of the year,” said Tosh Prabhakar, senior research analyst at Gartner.

HP continues to lead the EMEA printer sector by some distance, accounting for almost 47% of the market.

Its nearest competitor, Canon, has just 16.4% market share, although it enjoyed stronger growth than HP during the first half.

Samsung’s new product portfolio and ongoing rise in the emerging markets saw it increase shipments by 24% to 1.4 million units, the highest of any vendor.

The first half results also provide further evidence that the leading printer vendors are increasing their dominance of the EMEA market.

The largest manufacturers — HP, Canon, Epson, Brother and Samsung — now account for 86% of the market, up from 80% the year before.

Collective shipments from remaining printer vendors declined more than 28% year-on-year during the first half, with Lexmark the biggest name to suffer.

Gartner says the company continues to shift its focus to more profitable high-end workgroup machines, but blasted its performance as “poor” as it tumbled out of the top-five rankings.

“In the past 12 to 18 months, Lexmark has been through a lot of restructuring and consolidation, which has an impact on the company’s performance,” said Prabhakar.

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