Russia’s struggling economy was mainly responsible for the decline in the eastern Europe market.
The hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market has dropped by 10.3% during the second quarter of 2013 in central and eastern Europe, according to a new report.
Sales fell to 1.7m units shipped compared to the same quarter last year, the report from International Data Corporation (IDC) showed.
IDC analyst Mitri Roufka said the continuing decline of the market in terms of shipments stems mainly from weak consumer demand due to the region’s struggling economies and high unemployment rates.
"On top of the limited disposable income of consumers, printing at home remains a low priority requirement," Roufka said.
Early signs of recession in CEE’s biggest market, Russia, were mainly responsible for the decline, the report noted.
"A fall in investments and in demand for raw materials saw Russia’s GDP growth forecast for Q2 2013 slashed by half a percentage point," Roufka added.
"If not for the 14.3% year-on-year fall in Russian shipments, the market for laser HCPs in CEE would have recorded only a moderate decline around 6%."
Data from IDC suggests that demand for inkjet devices was inflated by bundled deals in the past.
"Vendors’ efforts to replace their inkjet lines with higher-value devices that use less expensive consumables have brought an end to the bundles that characterised the inkjet market, and as a result, a more realistic picture of demand is emerging," Roufka added.
"Inkjet vendors are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses with these new devices: Such businesses are responsible for generating almost 76% of all pages produced in the home/office segment."
During the quarter, business demand, especially for laser devices, remained strong in the majority of CEE markets.
"The small decline (3.8%) of laser shipments in first half of 2013 (and mainly because of Russia) is indicative only of broader economic difficulties, inevitably a significant factor in determining businesses’ IT investments," Roufka added.
"This also refutes popular theories that ‘printing is dying’ or that a ‘dramatic impact of tablets on the printing industry’ is imminent, or even advice to laser HCP vendors that they had better start thinking about more profitable businesses like document destruction or delivering water instead of selling toner."