Epson bolsters investment behind inkjet technology as it claims 40% of the business market in Europe

€585 million committed to the development and production of business inkjet technologies amidst speculation of industry consolidation

Epson bolsters investment behind inkjet technology as it claims 40% of the business market in Europe

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Epson, a leading technology company known for its long history and expertise in printing, visual, wearable and robotic technologies, has announced that its bet on inkjet is paying off, taking 40% of the European business inkjet market in Q1, 20171. This comes at a time when analysts are speculating industry-wide consolidation as a result of an overall shrinking, yet in some cases high-value and profitable, print market. Epson, with its focus on inkjet as a highly flexible technology that provides specific business benefits beyond those offered by other technologies on the market, expects further growth in the remainder of 2017 and years to come.

Epson’s focus on inkjet, which is supported by a €400 million investment into new production facilities in Japan and other markets, has been bolstered with a further €185 million, specifically for developing its PrecisionCore inkjet technology over the next three years. Epson’s launch of Workforce Enterprise at the beginning of this year supports the high-speed inkjet market – one anticipated to yield large returns, according to analyst firm IDC2.

Rob Clark, senior vice president, Epson Europe says: “Our focus, investment and R&D commitment lies firmly with inkjet because it continues to prove its resilience and value as a technology. It has been reinvented in recent years and has continued to remain relevant for almost 70 years already.  I firmly believe that inkjet will continue to gain traction within the business market.”

This stance forms the basis of Epson’s strategy to grow its market share within the €38 billion EMEA business print sector, predicted by IDC3. In fact, “as industry consolidation occurs, brands are likely to disappear and there will be winners and losers in the market,” warns IDC’s Phil Sargeant.  The winners will be those who invest sufficient resources in growth areas, and compete most effectively for future revenue streams.

IDC further forecasts the business inkjet market to grow at a rate of 10.2% (CAGR) in Western Europe by 2020 . According to IDC, inkjet’s impact in the office market will continue as more business inkjet printers are expected to be sold to the business environment. In line with this, Epson has seen its share of the business inkjet market rise from roughly 25% in Q1 2015 to 40% in Q1 2017 (up 15%) .

“Industry reports, tests and comparisons are showing what we have long believed: inkjet is surpassing other technologies, in terms of performance and efficiency. While printing remains an important part of our lives – at work and at home – companies that choose to invest in inkjet can achieve up to 99% less waste, 96% less energy consumption, and 98% reduced maintenance and intervention time6. Inkjet innovations are directly addressing the needs of businesses today and as a result we’re seeing a shift from laser to inkjet within the European business printing market,” says Clark. “Businesses are beginning to see real financial, environmental and societal benefits thanks to this technology, and this is evident in the market sales data for inkjet in Europe.” 

Beyond office-based printing, inkjet technology has proved its flexibility as market needs change and is re-shaping entire market segments including fashion and decor textile printing, packaging and wide format signage printing, and enabling short run production processes while reducing costs and waste.

1. IDC, Western Europe printer shares, 2016
2. IDC, Western Europe Business Inkjet Market Shares, 2016
3. Estimated EMEA total business print market, source: IDC
4. IDC, Western Europe Business Inkjet Market Shares, 2016
5. IDC, Western Europe printer shares, 2016
6. Research conducted by BLI, 2017