African Large Format Printer market declines

The large format printer (LFP) market in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) region declined 10.7% in volume and 5.1% in value year on year in the first half of 2013. According to market research and advisory company IDC, LFP shipments exceeded 16,300 units valued at $15.36 million in CEMA in 1H 2013. While shipments of both technical and graphical sub-segments decreased in volume terms, shipments of graphical printing devices increased in value terms. This value growth mainly stemmed from the Middle East region (except Israel), where demand was strong in the construction, advertising, and textile industries. Technical LFP shipments declined in both value and volume terms across the CEMA region, mainly due to a lack of public tenders, limited construction market investments, and prolonged replacement cycles.

IDC expects the overall CEMA LFP market to decline by 1% in 2013 and to return to growth in 2014. "The LFP market in the CEMA region is expected to be driven primarily by the Middle East market, where many construction projects have already started and where demand from the advertising printing market is also strong," says research analyst David Mühlbach. "Central and Eastern Europe is also expected to revive in 2014, due to economic recovery and improved business sentiment. A new EU funding period will also play a supportive role. LFP sales in Africa will increase as well, due to improved political stability and the resumption of postponed projects."

Aqueous ink-type devices, which represented over 80% of the market's volume in the CEMA region in 2013, are expected to maintain their dominant market share. Advanced, more environmentally friendly and economical ink types, such as UV and eco-solvent devices, are expected to slowly increase their market share at the expense of solvent ink.

HP remained the overall CEMA region market leader with 53.4% market share in 1H 2013. The vendor was the clear leader in its traditional stronghold, the technical LFP market, with 64.3% market share, mostly due to sales of new DesignJet T-series printers.

Canon moved to second place with 15.2% market share, while shipments of its graphical devices grew significantly to claim 11.6% market share in 1H 2013.

Epson ranked third on the overall LFP market in 1H 2013, with 15.1% market share, and continued to lead the graphic application market with 35.8% share. The availability of SureColor models improved significantly in 2013, thus helping Epson achieve these good results in the first quarter.


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