Unit shipments of printer hardware to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) continued to improve in Q2 2017 and registered an increase of 4% year-on-year compared to a decline of 3% in Q2 2016, according to analysts Context.

The company adds that while there was positive performance across the board, the increase was driven mainly by shipments of multifunction inkjet devices.

Sell-in to Western Europe (WE) accounted for almost 70% of all printer hardware shipments to EMEA and mirrored the performance in the region as a whole — a significant improvement on the 6% decline in the same quarter last year. Shipments of laser multifunction printers (MFPs) registered growth of 10% year-on-year and were largely responsible for the overall increase.

“This was mainly due to shipments to Germany, France, and the UK,” says Zivile Brazdziunaite, imaging market analyst at Context. “Sell-in of MFPs accounted for the growth of 3% in France, while there was a double-digit increase in sell-in across all categories in Germany and the UK — contrasting with the double-digit declines seen in the same quarter last year. In the UK, this was mostly because of increasing unit shipments of inkjet MFPs, whereas sell-in of laser hardware accounted for 12% year-on-year growth in Germany.

Meanwhile, unit shipments to Italy and the Netherlands contracted, and Spain registered an increase of a single percentage point for the quarter, driven by strong performance of laser MFPs.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) continued to outperform other regions with unit shipments increasing by 16%, again following a double-digit decline last year. An increase in sell-in of inkjet MFPs mainly accounts for the positive performance, but unit shipments of laser single-function printers (SFPs) also registered double-digit growth for the quarter. UAE and Saudi Arabia drove the increase in the region. Printer hardware sell-in to Turkey grew by 5% year-on-year; most of the growth was due to inkjet MFPs as unit shipments of SFPs continued to decline.

Printer hardware sell-in to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) fell by 3% year-on-year in Q2 2017, in spite of sell-in of inkjet technology devices registering an increase of 9%, because of poor sales of laser hardware and a particularly strong performance in the same quarter last year. Unit shipments to Russia declined by 5% year-on-year and, to a large extent, influenced the overall performance of the region.

Negative results in Poland and Romania were also due to weak unit shipments of laser hardware for which increasing sell-in levels of inkjet MFPs could not compensate. In contrast, sell-in of printer hardware to Kazakhstan and Belarus continued to increase and are driven mainly by laser technology devices.