Where the Growth is: Digital Printing in Russia

Ralf Schlozer
Aug 16, 2012

In many markets digital printing is maturing and while there is still good growth in colour printing, when combined with a decline in black & white digital print volume, the total growth rate is not that impressive (see also the blog on POD growth in US and Europe). But this is not the case for all countries and to find an exception we do not have to look very far.

Russia is by far the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe and since the year 2000 the Russian GDP has more than doubled. Apart from a dip in 2009 the economy has been growing rapidly and is poised to continue on that path. In fact, the Russian nominal GDP growth (including exchange rate effects and not adjusted for inflation) between 2000 and 2009 was better than China.

Not all industries in Russia have experienced growth at this rate however and the printing and publishing industries are among those that are lagging behind — not an unusual picture as printing demand generally follows the growth of other industries and requires an infrastructural framework that takes time to build up. InfoTrends held conferences on digital printing and publishing in Russia for several years and the interest in digital technology was obvious. It was also obvious that the market was still in an early phase.

But with improvements in the postal system and distribution infrastructure, a rise in advertising and publishing activities, and general growth in wealth, the demand for all kinds of print is rising. Not having a strong legacy in analogue printing is probably helping the digital print market and we certainly noticed growth in digital production equipment installations over recent years. Now, with a couple of years’ experience in tracking and observing the Russian digital printing market, the time has come for InfoTrends to publish a detailed Russian digital printing forecast for the first time.So far, the digital printing market in Russia is still small compared to other European countries; it ranks between Sweden and Austria in a European comparison of digital print volumes. Though the number of digital production devices installed in Russia in 2011 was relatively small (just over 2,000 units), this is about double the installations in 2009. Russian installations are set to expand further and between 2011 and 2016 we expect print-on-demand placements to outgrow Western Europe and the U.S. markedly with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 12%. This will drive an annual print volume growth of 24.4% per — compared to a 3.6% growth rate for Western Europe. With this, the gap between the Russian production digital printing market and the Western European countries is narrowing.

Accordingly the retail value of print in Russia will increase at an impressive average annual growth of more than 23%, reaching over $1.8 billion in sales of digital print products in 2016. Colour is driving most of the growth, but even Russian black & white digital print volumes will grow as new installations still increase the size of the installed base. I In contrast the Western European black & white installations cannot make up for the loss of retired units, and as a result the installed base is declining.

Russia Print On Demand Market Retail Value of Print (2011-2016)

The Russia Production Copying and Printing Market Forecast: 2011-2016 is now available at our report store. It provides detailed forecast data on the growth in digital document printing in the Russian market. The Excel pivot table allows the user to easily view and sort the information by selecting various product segments and features and is designed to create figures for installed base, copy/print volumes, service and supply revenue and retail value of print at the same detail level as our Western European or U.S. print on demand forecasts. For more details on the report or any other questions please contact Ralf Schlözer at ralf_schlozer@infotrends.com or Jennifer Skerrett at +1 781-616-2111 or email jennifer_skerrett@infotrends.com.

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