Thursday, August 30, 2012

Technical Consumer Goods market: Strong second quarter for Western Europe
Results of the GfK TEMAX® Western Europe for the second quarter of 2012

Nuremberg, August 30, 2012 – The overall Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market in Western Europe achieved a sales volume of €43.4 billion in Q2 2012. This corresponds to an increase of 4.6 percent compared to Q2 2011. As for the first half of 2012, sales amounted to €89.5 billion and showed a slight decline of 0.8 percent. Countries surveyed in GfK TEMAX® Western Europe improved well in this quarter, with the exception of Greece, Portugal and Spain.
The Telecommunication (Telco) sector continued its growth, achieving an 18.1 percent increase. The SDA and IT sectors surveyed in GfK TEMAX® Western Europe showed a healthy single digit growth rate, while Office Equipment and Consumables showed a slight value drop.
Telecommunication: Sector continues to be growth driver in Q2
With a sales value increase of 18.1 percent, the Western European Telco sector achieved the strongest growth of all sectors within the GfK TEMAX® in Q2 2012. Telco sales reached €5.2 billion in this period. This sector achieved cumulated growth for the first half year of 12.6 percent and its sales value amounted to €10.5 billion. With the exception of Greece and the UK, developments in all countries showed significant growth.
The majority of the markets in Western Europe still have not reached a maximum penetration for Smartphones and so benefitted from consumers switching from Mobile Phones to these high tech devices. In the summer season in particular, big and crystal clear displays, GPS chips, and excellent photographic functions, such as uploading files quickly to social networks, were important. In addition, the ability to surf the internet while being away from home remains a huge selling point.
Small Domestic Appliances: Recovery in the second quarter
Western European consumers spent a total of €3.2 billion on Small Domestic Appliances in Q2 2012. This corresponds to a sales increase of 7.7 percent, compared with Q2 2011. As for the first half year results, the market value stands at €6.8 billion with growth of 2.3 percent. On a country level, developments were varied again, with a clear north-south decline. The best performing markets were Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.
Q2 2012 was also successful in offsetting the losses of the first three months. This was due to great performance from Food Preparation appliances such as traditional Kitchen Machines, Liquidizers, Hand Mixers and Hand Blenders.
Information Technology: Growth through innovative segments
The IT sector demonstrated a strong improvement once again, rising by 6.4 percent in Q2 2012. This corresponds to a sales volume of €13.1 billion and a 1.9 percent increase for the first two quarters of the year, which amounted to €27.3 billion. Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK achieved single digit positive growth rates between April and June, while the Belgium and Swedish IT markets rose by 13.9 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
IT markets in Western Europe are currently characterized by strong saturation within the main product areas such as Desk and Mobile Computers as well as Monitors. However, growing segments like Media-Tablets (e.g. the iPad) led to positive growth rates in Q2 2012 for the whole IT market. Private consumers, in particular, are mainly interested in these products, but Media-Tablets are also becoming more popular within the business sector.
The increasing demand for Media-Tablets also impacted on IT Peripheries and IT Accessories, providing new impulses for the IT sector.
Photo: Trend towards high quality products
Western European consumers spent more on photo products between April and June 2012 than in the previous year; total sales in Q2 2012 amounted to €2.1 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent. Nevertheless, the first half year results of 2012 are down 5.3 percent on the previous year’s same period and account for a market size of €3.8 billion.
The imaging markets showed two opposed trends. Sales of lower priced Digital Cameras have shown a decline due to the competition of Smart- and Mobile Phones.
On the other hand, the overall value of the products has shown a trading up as consumers are buying higher value products with better feature equipment instead of mass products. In Q2 there was a positive trend concerning changeable lens, both SLR and Compact System models. This, in turn, also triggered a positive market development for Changeable Lens Accessories.
Major Domestic Appliances: Size and energy efficiency matter
Overall, the Major Domestic Appliances (MDA) sector in Western Europe registered sales of €7.4 billion in the second quarter of 2012, which corresponds to an increase of 0.5 percent in comparison to the year before. As for the cumulated first half year results, this market reached €15billion and showed a slight decline of 1 percent. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the UK produced single-digit growth, the latter having the biggest increase of 8.9 percent because of currency effects and a positive development in the second quarter.
In Austria, Belgium, France and Germany, the consumer’s interest in efficiency, size and user-friendliness supported the growth, while in the UK, this positive development was especially supported by a demand increase for Tumble Dryers. This was due to a wet summer and growing sales for Refrigerators and Cooking Appliances.
Other countries were negatively affected by the economic situation. Greece, Portugal and Spain still showed a very low building activity and decreasing house sales which resulted in double-digit negative growth rates. Italy started to show slow recovery signals, especially in the Washing and Cooling segments where there was a trend towards higher value products.
Consumer Electronics: IFA trade show ahead
The Western European CE market experienced mixed country results in Q2 2012. Between April and June, sales amounted to €8.7 billion, a slight increase of 0.9 percent compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, the first half year results show a decline of 9.1 percent, on average. Sales amounted to €18.3 billion in total. The German market performed very well, followed by Portugal and Austria. On the contrary, the French, Greek and Spanish markets fell by double-digit growth rates.
The European Soccer Championship supported the sales of Flat-TV in Q2. Countries with negative trends in Q1 saw gradual changes until June, showing either an only slightly negative trend or a positive one. However, for Western European consumers, a FlatTV is not an innovation anymore; new features such as 3D and connectivity must be integrated.
In addition to TV, the sound market is showing new potential. Docking Devices and Headphones are booming, as are products in the upcoming Audio Streaming market.
On the other hand, those products or features which have been built in to Smartphones (such as MP3 Players or Portable Navigation), showed a dramatic negative tendency.
Office Equipment and Consumables: Multifunctional Laser Devices on the rise
Total sales of the Western European Office Equipment and Consumables sector amounted to €3.8 billion in the second quarter of 2012; this is a quarter on quarter decrease of 1.5 percent. The first half year results reached a market value of €7.8 billion, which corresponds to a sales drop of 4.2 percent. Countries surveyed in GfK TEMAX® Western Europe showed differing results. Belgium performed very well and was followed by Austria. France and Germany achieved a small growth value-wise.
Laser Multifunctional Devices (MFD), both mono and color, are moving forward and showed positive value figures.
On the other hand, Ink MFDs, considered as the private consumer product, did not follow this trend. Accordingly, this trend in hardware also had a negative impact in the turnover for Consumables. And the price battle between genuine brands and remanufacturers also worked towards shrinking the market size.
GfK TEMAX® Western Europe: Positive second quarter with uncertain outlook
The Technical Consumer Goods markets in Western Europe showed a peak with sales of €43.4 billion and a year on year growth of 4.6 percent. Thus, some countries and sectors managed to escape the negative influence of the European economic crisis. In some sectors, this resulted in a preference towards higher value products. In addition, the period from April to June was positively influenced by the European Football Championship, which impacted on the demand for Technical Consumer Goods, particularly in the sector of Consumer Electronics. Notwithstanding this, the overall north-south decline remained unchanged in Western Europe during this period.
The outlook for the Western European markets for Technical Consumer Goods depends to a high extent on consumer expectations, which have been influenced in recent times by the developments within the Euro zone. Still, the Germans take the role of the European economic optimists, even though the economic expectations showed a dip and the expectations in terms of income and purchase intention also declined somewhat.
The Survey
GfK TEMAX® is an index developed by GfK to track the technical consumer goods markets. The findings are based on surveys carried out on a regular basis by the retail panel of GfK. The retail panel comprises data from over 390,000 retail outlets worldwide. Since February 2009, GfK has also been compiling the GfK TEMAX® index at international level in more than 30 countries. It is the first index that includes all of the markets for technical consumer goods in different countries. 
About GfK
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 11,500 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion.


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