Russia’s weak economy speaks disaster

Deborah Hawkins
Jun 24, 2015

InfoTrends latest analysis shows the market for SF & MF Printers in Russia contracted 8.5% in 2014 versus the year prior. That equates to more than 330k placements. The highest decline was in office laser placements (-9% yoy) suggesting that the weak economy is hindering investment for the majority of companies. Added to that is the continued depreciation of the Ruble which financial analysts suggest fell more than 90% against the USD in the Calendar year 2014. Blamed as the reason why businesses are not investing, it is now also a reason not to invest. The fall-out of the Ruble is mostly attributed to the conflict in Ukraine and the resulting Western Sanctions as well as the low oil price.
Whilst we are unable to predict what could happen to exchange rates it is a worrying time for market players. For Office Equipment Vendors that have to import their goods into Russia, the transfer price is higher and the purchasing power is weakened – a double whammy if you will. It is difficult to forecast which of the players have the longer arm and will be willing to stay around the longest. Currently vendor activity continues with some interesting developments that are unique to Russia. In 2014, Canon was able to further expand its leading position in Consumer inkjet (seg1) with a market share of 42.6%.

2014 Market Share of Consumer Inkjet in Russia

If we look at all office printers SF & MF regardless of technology, Business Ink devices (Seg 2-4) were the only market segment to increase in Russia in 2014 with a year over year increase of 15.6%. HP leads this space with more than 85% share. We would expect other vendors to make more of a push into business ink soon although it is well known that the prejudice against ink technology in Russia is very high. This stems from some major consumer disappointments in the technology, ranging from the price of ink cartridges relative to the price of the device or the poor quality of some of the cheaper alternative ink cartridges. In addition, Russian’s place little value in the quality of business documents. That is the main reason that b/w laser devices lead the Russian market for office printers and expect to continue to do so into the future.

B/W Laser is the dominant printer in Russia

In 2014, b/w Laser printers made up for more than 89% of all office printer placements. In comparison developed regions Western Europe have pushed placements of b/w laser to below 50% of total and replaced these with either colour laser or business inkjet devices.
Russia remains a challenging market for vendors, businesses and consumer alike. For more detail on our analysis for Office Equipment in Russia, CEE or other regions of the world contact Scott Phinney at

Deborah Hawkins
Associate Director
Office Technology Group

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