Telecoms Supporting Sluggish European Consumer Electronics Sales
The overall Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market in Western Europe achieved a sales volume of EUR56.3 billion in Q4 2012.
In Q4 2012, telecommunication remained the strongest sector in terms of growth within GfK TEMAX Western Europe. Smartphones drove this market and accounted for double digit growth rates in Q4 2012 and throughout the year. Consumer Electronics and Office Equipment and Consumables, on the contrary, currently lack product groups that would drive positive growth. When comparing country performance, differences still exist between the South, which is especially affected by the economic crises, and the northern states, which are doing comparatively well.
Telecommunication: Double digit sales growth
With an increase of 10.3 percent in Q4 2012, the Western European Telco sector achieved the strongest growth of all sectors within the GfK TEMAX. Telco sales on the basis of non-subsidized prices amounted to nearly EUR7.1 billion between October and December. The annual balance, with a total sales volume of EUR22.9 billion and growth rate of 11.4 percent, is even more positive.
The ongoing good performance of smartphones is key to success. It is both the entry price bands up to EUR150 and the top end over EUR400 where demand for smartphones grows fastest. While on the one hand this makes a change for today`s owners of mobile phones attractive, it also stimulates consumers who already own a first generation smartphone to upgrade their device.
Information Technology: "Breakthrough" of media tablets in 2012
The IT sector generated a growth rate of 6.5 percent in Q4 2012, corresponding to a sales volume of EUR18.2 billion. The total growth rate in 2012 was 3.9 percent, amounting to EUR59.4 billion. In light of the challenges posed by saturated markets, and high household equipment, this is certainly a good result.
The main reason for the positive result in the IT hardware market was the significantly increased demand for ultra-thin notebooks and media tablets. Especially the latter have seen a breakthrough in 2012. Demand continuously rose over the year and reached the highest sales in Q4 2012.
GfK added that it expects an overall positive market development for the IT sector in 2013. Hardware innovations together with growing demand towards software and services are set to stimulate the market.