Results of GfK TEMAX® Germany for the fourth quarter of 2010
The German market for technical consumer goods grew by 3.7% to EUR 13.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.
According to GfK Retail and Technology, the technical consumer goods market also recorded value growth of 3.7% for the year as a whole, with total sales of EUR 44.3 billion.
These represent the highest quarterly and full-year values since GfK TEMAX® Germany was introduced in 2007.
The information technology segment was the top performer in both the fourth quarter and 2010 as a whole. The small and major domestic appliance and telecommunications sectors also recorded positive development in the last three months of last year.
In the fourth quarter, the office equipment & consumables segment was able to achieve positive growth for the first time in 2010, while the photographics and consumers electronics markets exhibited the opposite trend, falling in value towards the end of the year.
Information technology: double-digit growth
The information technology segment has significantly contributed to the positive result of GfK TEMAX® for Q4 2010, recording an exceptional 13.7% increase in sales and a total market volume of EUR 3.43 billion. For the year as a whole, information technology recorded growth of 10.6% and sales of EUR 11.5 billion. The pleasing figures for 2010 are primarily attributable to replacement purchases in the business customer segment.
Desktop PCs, servers, workstations and LCD monitors achieved double-digit growth in a trend that is set to continue in 2011. In contrast, business with private customers was somewhat more modest in 2010, although there were also certain top performers in this area. "All in one computers”, in which all the technology is integrated in the monitor, are proving increasingly popular and are providing serious competition to 17” laptops as a result of both their appealing designs and prices.
Notebooks continue to be the main sales drivers in the IT segment and value sales have increased, although the initial saturation point has been reached for the smaller netbooks. For the current year, the industry has high hopes for new launches of tablet PCs with touchscreens called webbooks.
Small domestic appliances: high level of growth momentum
The small domestic appliance market enjoyed considerable growth for the second time in a row, recording a figure of 7.5% in the fourth quarter. This represents a twofold increase on the growth dynamic over the first half of 2010. For the year as a whole, this corresponds to 5.3% growth and a market volume of EUR 2.9 billion.
In the fourth quarter, electrical toothbrushes, small kitchen appliances, men’s shavers, toasters, hairdryers and kettles experienced particular growth momentum, which was primarily attributable to special offers in Hypermarkets.
In the hot beverage makers segment, which is the most important category with about a quarter of the market share, capsule espresso machines were able to record above-average sales. However, vacuum cleaners, which also constitute a quarter of the market, showed stagnating development. Robotic vacuum cleaners continued to record growth, benefiting from dynamic online sales.
Telecommunications: smartphones still in the lead
The telecommunications market was able to grow considerably by 7.3% in the last quarter of 2010 and achieved a growth rate of 3.1% for the year as a whole. Accordingly, the market volume of the product groups monitored by GfK TEMAX® increased by EUR 1.2 billion to a total of EUR 4 billion and negated the weak sales of the third quarter.
Smartphones offering mobile internet and new operating systems are the growth drivers in this market. In the fourth quarter, sales were double those recorded for the same quarter of the previous year, and devices with open operating systems achieved particularly strong growth. Among traditional mobile phones, devices costing less than EUR 100 sold particularly well in the Christmas period.
Overall, however, the market for traditional mobile phones recorded slightly negative development. In contrast, sales of landline telephones increased slightly on the same quarter of the previous year, as did sales of small telephone systems.
Office equipment & consumables: in positive figures in Q4
For the first time since 2008, the office equipment & consumables segment was able to record a positive result, with 4.3% growth in the fourth quarter and a market volume of EUR 1.4 billion. However, at -2.3%, growth remained negative for the year as a whole and total sales amounted to EUR 5 billion. Sub-markets such as office copiers and printers achieved double-digit growth for the last three months of the year.
Multifunctional devices remain extremely popular; for example, multifunctional color laser printers increased their share in the laser printer market. In contrast, small photo printers now only represent a niche market. Value sales of printer cartridges, which are the product group with the highest sales in this segment, continued to decline because consumers are more cost aware in their printing habits.
Small pocket projectors with very reasonable prices performed well in the data and video projectors segment.
Major domestic appliances: moderate profits
The market for large domestic appliances exhibited rather moderate growth of 1.3% and sales of EUR 2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the year as a whole, this equates to 1.8% growth and a total market volume of EUR 7.4 billion. The strongest growth comes from the market for cooker hoods, which was the top performer in the fourth quarter.
This is primarily attributable to the increasing fashion for island, angled and designer hoods. Washing machines, which represent the most important product group in this segment in terms of sales, also recorded a moderate sales increase in Q4 despite falling unit prices.
In the tumble dryer product group, machines with heat pump technology were the main sales drivers. In general, there is a rising demand from consumers in the major domestic appliance market for innovative features such as no-frost, energy efficiency, attractive designs and induction technology.
Photographics: system cameras are growth drivers
With a volume of EUR 754 million in the last three months of 2010, the photographics market recorded negative development of -2.4%. However, for the year as a whole, it has achieved 2.2% growth to total EUR 2.6 billion. While slightly lower sales were recorded towards the end of the year because of the price decline for digital cameras, accessory product groups such as lenses and tripods have continued to grow.
The core drivers are non-SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses, called system cameras, which have only been on the market for approximately one and a half years. However, the market for SLR cameras also continues to grow. Wide-angle lenses, GPS, higher zoom ranges and waterproof casings have all become standard features of compact cameras.
Cameras with 3D technology are a newer development, with some manufacturers achieving this capability using two lenses and others using the software within the camera.
Consumer electronics: hi-fis just behind TVs
The market for consumer electronics is continuing to decline. This sub-market recorded -4.7% for the generally strong fourth quarter, and sales totaled EUR 11 billion for the year as a whole, which corresponds to an increase of 1.3%.
This positive total in the consumer electronics segment is principally attributable to the exceptional sales of the second quarter on account of the Football World Cup in South Africa. However, sales of flat screen televisions decreased by 6% in the fourth quarter.
This is as a result of the high figures recorded in the prior year, purchases being moved forward to the first half of 2010 because of the World Cup and the overall saturation of the market – after all, more than 60% of households now own a flat screen television.
Because half of all spending in the consumer electronics segment is on televisions, the decline has had a correspondingly pronounced effect on the quarterly results.
The trend is for TV sets with larger and flatter screens, LED backlighting, internet access and 3D content. Consumers in Germany increasingly regard high quality sound as important and accordingly, audio home systems and headphones are showing positive growth.
In addition, sales of set-top boxes are rising; there is currently a high level of demand, predominantly because of the switchover to high definition technology and digital receivers. In contrast, DVD players and recorders continue to decline. High growth potential is expected from Blu-ray players and recorders over the coming years because the technology is still relatively new.
GfK TEMAX® Germany: positive outlook
The solid growth of the market for technical consumer goods continued in the last quarter of 2010, recording a 3.7% sales increase. This year, the technical consumer goods market was able to record the highest sales since the GfK TEMAX® was introduced in Germany in 2007. It is therefore clear that the market has emerged from the financial and economic crisis.
The pleasing situation on the labor market, an increase in domestic demand and appealing product innovations are all contributing to a positive position. Although the first signs of initial saturation in sub-markets are apparent, GfK Retail and Technology believes that it will be possible to maintain the excellent sales levels of the past year in 2011.
GfK TEMAX® is an index developed by GfK Retail and Technology 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 Retail and Technology.
The retail panel comprises data from over 340,000 retail outlets worldwide. Since February 2009, GfK Retail and Technology 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.
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Nuremberg,Germany - 15 February 2011