The printing market looked decidedly more buoyant in March with increased sales throughout the channel, according to the latest figures from market analyst Inform.
After a relatively short slow period, unit sales are on the rise, increasing 13 per cent on February figures. In value terms, the market was up 31 per cent on the previous month.
According to research director Chris Herbert, although all sectors of the channel experienced growth, corporate dealers got the best out of March.
"They experienced a growth of 15 per cent in units and 27 per cent by value," he said.
Sales in inkjet printers rose 12 per cent during March, and 14 per cent in terms of value sales. HP led the vendors in this sector with 24 per cent growth in unit sales. Inform pegs its DeskJet 630C as the big mover in the inkjet category, moving up from the fourth best-selling unit to third during March.
Prices across all printing product groups being sold through corporate dealers increased in March. But overall, laser printers rose 38 per cent in value. Higher end printers made their mark on the market in March, impacting on the average price of units sold. Laser sales grew 15 per cent during the month. However, Inform points out that the market is still 14 per cent down on March 2000.
Canon's presence in the laser market has grown steadily, according to Inform, with 5 per cent of the laser market share. Its LBP 800 showed significant growth of 24 per cent during March. Interestingly, the LBP 800 is one of the least expensive laser printers on the market, selling at $571. In terms of market share, HP still leads the pack with 41 per cent of the laser market, followed by Kyocera Mita with 19 per cent, Lexmark with 9 per cent and Brother with 8 per cent.