2018 was a great year for Sharp. The European division of the Japanese company enjoyed the biggest sales growth in all of Western Europe last year, according to new report the IDC Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, Q4 2018.
The study, which provides a detailed overview of the printer market in the region, found that Sharp Electronics Europe enjoyed a 16% growth compared to the previous year in unit sales on multi-function printers (MFPs). Just as crucially however, the value growth was also high at 9%. This was the highest of the top four manufacturers considered in the report and pertains to the turnover per unit.
IDC’s tracker also designated Sharp as a Major Player in the fast-developing area of ‘smart MFPs’. The report looked at all aspects of the emerging smart MFP market. This includes the hardware itself of course, but also software, services provided and companies’ overall strategies.
Sharp attributed their record-breaking growth to the quality of their products, many of which have undergone a substantial refresh over the past year.
Peter Plested, director of Information Systems at Sharp Europe said: “Sharp continues to grow thanks to our focus on designing smart, secure devices with easy-to-use intelligent features, that let people save time on the tasks they perform the most. Last year we refreshed our A3 range and launched new A4 devices with the same operation across the whole line, we see the sales results as further endorsement of this refresh.”
The company’s successes over the past year were made all the more remarkable by some of the other statistics revealed in the IDC report. The printer sector as a whole declined by nearly 5% in year on year sales. This decline saw sales dip to around 26.7 million units in the final quarter of last year. HP experienced a 3.6% increase in shipments in Q4 and a 1.9% increase over the whole year, but all the other major manufacturers reported significant declines.
Epson experienced the biggest slide, with Q4 shipments down by 15.2% compared to the same period in 2017. Most growth on a global scale was in the US and Asia Pacific rather than the European market.