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Notas de Prensa

Western European market for Technical Consumer Goods weakens


Results GfK TEMAX® Western Europe - third quarter 2013

Nuremberg - Total Sales of the Western European Technical Consumer Goods market in Q3 2013 amounted to €45.5 billion. On a year-on-year basis this is equal to a result of the GfK TEMAX® Western Europe for Q3 2013.

Good sales growth across single segments was not enough to lift up the overall sales into positive territory several. The only exception was the Telecommunications market. The ongoing positive demand for smartphones was once again strong enough to compensate weaker sales in other categories and thus generated positive overall sales for the whole sector. However, there were positive indicators within a general mediocre Q3 from other markets too, which gives hope for a turnaround.

Telecommunication: Smartphones continue success story

Among all markets surveyed in the GfK TEMAX® Western Europe, Telecommunication* spearheaded the value based growth rates. In the third quarter 2013, sales grew by 6.1% while on a cumulated basis for the first nine months; sales were up to 10.3% on a year-on-year basis. In the first nine months, total sales volume amounted to €29.1 billion, between July and September €10.0 billion was generated. All markets saw a healthy quarterly growth except for a slight decline in the Netherlands and a larger double-digit decline in Greece. Smartphones continued to grow. On a value basis the technical super gadgets contributed more than the basic handheld devices which are fading out. More sophisticated imaging functions, like availability of optical zoom, better picture results at low light and multi-image capturing modes make the devices more competitive with standard photo cameras. Offers of exchangeable lenses and stands allow the consumer to upgrade the basic specs. In addition LTE connectivity for smartphones is becoming standard in many European countries.

Small Domestic Appliances: Significant growth for handsticks

In the first nine months of 2013, sales in the SDA market amounted to a total of €8.9 billion, an increase of 1.1% year-on-year. The third quarter saw a sales decline of -1.3%, corresponding to a sales volume of €2.9 billion. On country level, Germany, France and the UK achieved the strongest growth rates.

Turnover of well-equipped cordless handstick vacuum cleaners significantly increased in the third quarter despite the overall market decline. Especially premium price, high voltage and LI-ON battery models were selling well. Positive sales trend for traditional kitchen machines in Western Europe continue. Also liquidizers contributed positively – here we also observe a trend towards more expensive items. Electric toothbrushes are still showing dynamic growth. Bagged cylinder continued to suffer against the competitive pressure of bagless appliances.

Major Domestic Appliances: Summer showed decreased demand

Sales in the Major Domestic Appliances market amounted to €7.7 billion in Q3 2013, corresponding to a 3.1% market decrease. Positive developments were seen in Austria, Italy and the UK. The rest of the markets showed only a single-digit decrease with the exception of Spain.

The very warm summer saw strong sales of refrigerators in most countries. Sales of tumble dryers and kitchen appliances were affected negatively. These trends explain the slightly negative growth in Germany which until now has always shown a positive development. Italy continued to recover through rising sales in the main categories of washing machines and refrigerators. An ongoing heterogeneous price development with lasting demand for premium products was seen in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Great Britain. The markets in Spain, France and Greece however faced price pressure.

Office Equipment and Consumables: Waiting for an economical boost

The third quarter sales in the Western European Office Equipment and Consumables market were 4.9% down in last year's figures, amounting to a sales volume of €3.5 billion. Grece and Sweden were the only countries within the GfK TEMAX Western Europe defying this trend and generating a small positive growth rate. In the Office Equipment market many consumers bought higher priced products. For inkjet printing. WLAN, touch displays and other features are now seen more in new models. In the laser printing segment, especially MFD mono printing sold better than single function printers. While printing devices sales already started decreasing a couple of years ago, now a slow but continuing decline in consumables is more and more visible. Against the background that consumables represent around 2/3º of the total turnover this trend is not favorable for moving forward positively.

Information Technology: Ultra-thin notebooks and tablets offer potential Sales in the third quarter of the Western European IT market were down 2.8% compared with last year. This corresponds to a sales volume of €12.9 billion. Big markets like Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK could not catch up with the 2012 market development. The only countries with small growth were Belgium, Portugal and Greece whose markets were in recovery.

The IT market in Europe is mainly influenced by the development of the Computing market. Consumer demand is still focused on innovative and fashionable products like media tablets, especially on small devices below 8 Inch, Tablet Computers and ultra-thin notebooks. The turnover share of ultra-thin notebooks and Tablet Computers is currently more than 20% lower than the turnover of media tablets but they have a high potential of turnover growth in 2014. However, these sales can still not compensate for the decreasing demand for classical computer segments such as mobile and desk top computers. However, the availability of touch-screen items will initiate a new demand cycle for mobile and desk computers in Q4 2013 and in 2014.

The Western European IT market will remain on a stable growth level of demand and value within the last quarter in 2013. For 2014 the demand for products in the IT segments is expected to increase by a slight growth rate in a low single-digit range.

Consumer Electronics: Negative trend is somewhat flattening.

Sales in the Western European CE markets amounted to a total volume of €6.7 billion in Q3 2013. This corresponds to a decrease of 17.0%, compared to the previous year. The January-September development was -18.9%, corresponding to a sales volume of €21.1 billion. All markets showed double digit decrease. So 2013 in total will be negative for CE in Western Europe, mostly driven by the poor development of the TV market. In 2013 there has been no stimulation of the market, neither by digital switch nor by any important sports events.

Positive developments can be seen in niche sectors: bigger screens, Smart TV, connected audio, docking speakers and Bluetooth headphones and headsets. In 2014 the World Soccer Championship is taking place, which is a chance to move the negative trend into a positive direction.

Photo: High value digital cameras still in demand

Western European consumers spent a total of €1.7 billion on photo products in Western Europe in Q3 2013. This is a quarter on quarter decrease of 20.6%. The photo market in Western Europe presents a fragmented picture: while segments under strong substitution pressure from smartphones are losing sales badly, high-value digital cameras are doing particularly well. However, top-quality digital camera sales increased, in part quite substantially, depending on their target group and intended area of application. Advanced fixed-lens cameras were in high demand. These are cameras with larger image sensors [more pixels]. In general, cameras are becoming increasingly connected. By June 2013, one in seven cameras sold could already share pictures via an integrated WLAN.

Smartphones may be causing decline on the low end of the camera market, but they are also introducing more people to photography than ever before. This presents a unique opportunity for inspiring interest in many consumers for this field, which may ultimately motivate them to buy increasingly high-end cameras.

GfK TEMAX® Western Europe: Positive indicators give rise to hope

The Western European market for technical consumer goods failed in Q3 2013 to reach the sales level of the respective period of the prior year. Total sales volume generated between July and September 2013 amounted to €45.5 billion, corresponding to a decrease of minus 5.9%. This is also a result of the ongoing difficult economic conditions. The European economy stagnated at last. However, EU-commission projected a 1.1% growth from 2014 onwards. Within the GfK Consumer Climate Europe, there are also more positive signs, indicating a recovery soon. Economic expectations and income expectations rose significantly all over Europe. As a result, there is also a more positive development regarding willingness to buy. Consumers in some countries are more often prepared to spend more money and politics soften their rigid austerity program, which has partly slowed domestic economy activities. These are encouraging signals with the important Christmas business ahead

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 425.000 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 the markets for technical consumer goods in different countries GfK TEMAX​® Western Europe directly includes the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, France, Greece, UK and Sweden. Besides them, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland are represented by extrapolated data. All directly included country reports and press releases are available at www.gfktemax.com.

If information from this press release or www.gfktemax.com is cited, GfK TEMAX® should be explicitly indicated as the source.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world's largest research companies, with around 13.000 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 2012, GfK's sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

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