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15 November 2012
Q3 2012: Technical Consumer Goods market remains positive
Results of the GfK TEMAX® Germany for the third quarter of 2012

Nuremberg, November 15th 2012 – The German Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market closed the third quarter of 2012 with a sales volume of €12.2 billion. Sales growth generated from June to September amounted to 1.2 percent. This is the result of GfK TEMAX® Germany for the third quarter of 2012. 

Nearly all markets observed in TEMAX ® Germany recorded a positive quarterly balance. The steady demand for smartphones, once again, brought the highest growth rates for the Telecommunications (Telco) sector. The Photo and Major Domestic Appliances (MDA) markets benefitted from the trend towards high quality products. In the Information Technology (IT) sector, webbooks/tablets were still very appealing to consumers and provided profitable business. The total sales volume of the German TCG market between June and September 2012 amounted to €12.2 billion. This corresponds to a positive growth rate of 1.2 percent.

Telecommunications: Smartphones enjoy constant popularity

Smartphones enjoyed ongoing popularity in the third quarter 2012. The Telco market benefitted from that and again climbed to the top of the GfK TEMAX® Germany. Sales generated between July and September amounted to €1.1 billion. This corresponds to a double digit growth of 11.4 percent, compared to same period last year. On a cumulated basis, sales growth is even 15.1 percent, which equates a total sales volume of €3.2 billion. Feature phones, which are predominantly geared to communication purposes, continued their sales decline. More and more consumers are now choosing appliances which promise comfort and unlock the variety of the mobile digital world. LTE, the new standard for mobile telephony, has recently been launched all over the country, enabling even faster browsing. Although sales of respective LTE-smartphones just started, the next generation of appliances promises positive impulses in the long run.

Photo: Quality and technique in the focus 

In Q3 2012, consumer’s preferred to purchase more technical photo products, and this provided a boost in sales. Therefore, the sales volume of the Photo market in the third quarter 2012 is up 6.6 percent to €677 million. Demand for the core product group, SLR cameras, was above average. Interchangeable lenses and accessories also performed well.
Between the Photo and Telco sectors there are interesting interdependencies. On the one hand, mobile phones compete with traditional Photo products, thanks to respective camera functionalities. And on the other hand, smart and feature phones are making photography more accessible to everyone. These factors have positively influenced sales, especially those of high quality cameras. Besides, the new generation of digital cameras adopts many smartphone-like features, such as apps or touchscreen, though with focus on picture and film making. This quality boost also arouses the interest of experienced photographers. Against the background of the numerous attractive novelties, introduced at photokina 2012, GfK expects a positive development for the upcoming Christmas period.     
  
Major Domestic Appliances: Demand for high quality and energy efficient appliances

The trend towards high quality and energy efficient products continues and provides the German MDA market with a respective sales impulse. Generated sales volume in the third quarter 2012 amounted to €2 billion. This corresponds to a sales growth of 4.6 percent, compared with the same period last year. Thanks to the European energy label, highly efficient appliances can be recognized at a glance. This offers guidance to consumers and helps retail employees sell to consumers.
Size and user friendliness are also main factors. Accordingly, refrigerators with larger capacities as well as cooling-freezing combinations remain in demand. For dishwashers, there is still a trend towards more energy-efficient and water-saving devices consuming less than ten litres of water per wash cycle. In the kitchen segment, induction and island extractors gain further relevance and are boosting sales.      

Small Domestic Appliances: Oral care is strongest sales driver  

The German Small Domestic Appliances (SDA) market closed the third quarter of 2012 with a sales volume of €685 and a positive growth rate of 4.4 percent. Domestic consumers are especially free-spending when it comes to oral care. Dental oral jets and electrical tooth brushes generated double digit growth. In the home comfort segment, steam generators became more important at the expense of traditional steam irons. While traditional filter coffee machines still suffered from stagnating demand, coffee- and espresso fully automatic machines as well as espresso capsule systems continued to record impressive growth. Festive periods like Christmas play an important role in the portion market (capsule and filter pad machines).  About one fifth of sales for pad and capsule machines is done in December alone - the high season for one of the core product groups in the SDA segment. 

Information Technology: Boom in the webbooks/tablets segment 

Many households are already perfectly equipped with computers in different variations and have access to a well-connected digital eco system. With respect to that, the generated sales growth of 2.2 percent between July and September 2012 is a very positive result. Sales volume amounted to €4.4 billion; this was mainly due to the trend towards secondary and third devices. For instance, desktop computers are increasingly complemented with special devices for digital entertainment. Webbooks/tablets are continuing to profit from that and again achieved the most dynamic development in the third quarter. A multitude of price attractive offers supported this boom. At the moment, private consumers are the main target group for iPads and similar devices. However, business consumers are also becoming more interested in those trend products. This offers good perspectives for Christmas sales, as well as the launch of the totally renewed operating system Windows 8 in the fourth quarter.  
 
Office Equipment and Consumables: Heterogeneous development 

The Office Equipment market witnessed a slight negative growth rate of minus 0.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The generated sales volume from July to September amounted to about €1.2 billion. In the consumables segment, ink and toner cartridges recorded a positive development. On the contrary, coated paper faced low demand. Sales within the scanner and copier segment were also declining, compared to the same period last year. This affected mono copiers as well as color devices and flatbed scanners. Document scanners, however, continued their positive trend, as did data video projectors, which achieved a single digit sales growth. An increasing number of products focused on the home cinema segment. 

Consumer Electronics: Growth out of the niche 

Consumer Electronics (CE) business proved to be quite a challenge in the third quarter 2012. A negative sales growth rate of minus 9.5 percent was the lowest development of all markets observed in the TEMAX ® Germany.
Total sales generated from July to September amounted to €2.1 billion. Besides punctual price declines, the CE market is struggling to compete with sectors like Telco and IT, especially in segments like mobile audio devices. Smartphones replacing MP3 and MP4 players is also having an impact on the sector. However, sales of docking stations are profiting from this as they are designed to comfortably support listening to music from different appliances.
In the TV segment, internet capable devices and 3D-models are particularly in demand. The trend towards better equipment and bigger formats continues, although the major share of sales is still recorded with appliances of 32-inches. High quality technical niche products provide long-term potential, like intelligent software solutions, enabling a smooth switch between TV, internet and music. The connection of different audio sources with loud speakers and headphones for a high quality sound experience is becoming more important too. This is promising for the future.   

GfK TEMAX® Germany: Stable sales development in Q3 2012 

Germans remain disinclined to save as the propensity to buy is still on constantly high level. This supports the consumption and provides respective impulses for durable goods, despite unstable economic conditions. Consequently, the quarterly balance for the domestic TCG market is positive. From July to September 2012 a total sales volume of €12.2 billion was generated, which corresponds to a positive growth rate of 1.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Whether this trend is going to continue is also a question of German’s capability to successfully fight recession tendencies within Europe. So far however, the TCG market is profiting from the ongoing financial and Euro crisis;

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. All 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.

Further information:
Stefan Schmidt, T +49 911 395-3108
Wolfgang Seubold, T +49 911 395-3570

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 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 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion.
To find out more, visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GfK_en 

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