NEWS IN ENGLISH | Germany: Positive start to the year for the Technical Consumer Goods market
The German market for Technical Consumer Goods finished the first quarter of 2014 with sales of almost &8364;13.6 billion, showing a slight increase of 0.6 percent compared to last year. The biggest sales dynamics were demonstrated in the market for Major Domestic Appliances.
The German Technical Consumer Goods market started 2014 with a slight increase in sales of 0.6 percent, compared to the previous year. Between January and March, the sales volume of the sectors, observed within GfK TEMAX&174; Germany, amounted to around &8364;13.6 billion. The Major Domestic Appliances sector was the front runner in growth in this period, with an increase of 5 percent. Dishwashers were the primary sales drivers in this sector. Although the market for Consumer Electronics was still developing negatively with a decrease of 5.5 percent, some segments showed encouraging sales potential again.
Major Domestic Appliances: front runner in growth with energy efficiency
The MDA market showed the highest momentum in sales in the first quarter of 2014 within all sectors surveyed in the GfK TEMAX&174; Germany. The market grew by 5 percent compared to last year, and generated a sales volume of nearly &8364;2.1 billion. Dishwashers were the main sales drivers, with the ongoing trend for energy-efficient and low-noise models. Despite strong competitive and price pressures, the washing machines segment looked to increase sales again, compared to last year. Moreover, appliances with low water consumption (between 8 and 10 liters) were in demand. Sales for cooling devices also increased, thanks to the ongoing demand for high-quality and convenience features like NoFrost and 0°-cooling zone.
Telecommunication: a little less dynamic
The market for telecommunication devices exceeded the sales performance of the first quarter of 2013 by 3.1 percent. Despite sales volume of &8364;2.1 billion, the momentum nevertheless slowed. This was especially true for conventional mobile phones, where the demand was again strongly negative, which slowed down the dynamic. Within the category of smartphones, the trend towards screen sizes between 4 and 4.5 inches continued. The demand for smartphones with very large displays between 5.6 to 7 inches slightly decreased. Besides the still relatively high average prices, the comparatively larger format could be a reason why customers are still holding back.
Office Equipment and Consumables: projectors as sales drivers
Sales in the Office Equipment and Consumables sector increased by 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter of last year. Overall, the total sales volume amounted to &8364;1.3 billion. In the printer segment, inkjet devices provided a strong momentum for sales, with business-ink-models particularly in demand. The demand for laser printers also increased, whereas the sales of mono printers declined. Data and video projectors showed the most dynamic development in terms of sales volume, thanks to the constantly increasing trend towards full-HD models. The second quarter will show whether the FIFA World Cup in Brazil will further strengthen this segment.
Information Technology: desktop computers unexpectedly strong
The German market for information technology generated sales of almost &8364;4.7 billion between January and March, an increase of 2.2 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. In particular, the computing market maintained the good performance of the last month and could improve again. All segments - desktop computers, mobile computers and media tablets - developed positively. Desktop computers, which normally reach their peak at the end of the year, breached the seasonal trend this time. The product group grew against trend with the highest demand for five years. Within the mobile computers segment, ultra-mobile devices with screen sizes between 10.3 and 12.2 inches were especially popular.
Small Domestic Appliances: hot beverage makers slowed development
The market for Small Domestic Appliances recorded sales of &8364;852 billion in the first quarter 2014, a slight decrease of 0.9 percent. The strongest growth rate was in the handheld rechargeable vacuum cleaner segment. This applied to both versions - those that are used when standing, as well as those used on tables or in cars. Electric toothbrushes also recorded positive development thanks to the increasing popularity of higher-priced models. Online sales were important here, as they were in the whole area of personal care. By contrast, hot beverage makers had a negative impact on the market development. Both capsule and pad machines, as well as the fully automatic espresso machines were less in demand compared to last year.
Consumer Electronics: positive momentum out of the niche
Between January and March, the market for Consumer Electronics (CE) reached sales of &8364;2.7 billion. Compared to the first quarter of 2013, the market decreased by 5.5 percent. Despite this declining development, there were some niche markets which showed positive trends. For example, docking speakers achieved double-digit growth. Docking also evolved as a sales driver in the radio segment. Although models with a docking capability are particularly important for clock radios as well as for radio boom boxes, they are now increasingly relevant for portable radios. The forthcoming FIFA World Cup could lead to market growth also in other CE-segments as well.
Photography*: missing Easter business was noticeable
Between January and March the photography sector, monitored in the GfK TEMAX&174; Germany, generated sales of &8364;459 billion. This means a market decrease of 16 percent on a year-on-year basis. Compared to the first quarter of 2013, one of the main reasons for this fall was the absence of business from the Easter period which, this year, was in April. This was especially noticeable in the fixed-lens cameras segment. Compact system cameras generated notable positive sales momentum - customers particularly looked for high-quality models. Superior photographic equipment will usually be in demand, positively influencing the market.
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