Growth Continues: 5th drupa Global Trends Report

Insights into economic and market-related trends and the current situation of the printing industry: This and more provides our 5th drupa Global Trends Report. The printing industry finds itself in a positive state these days, both printers and suppliers are very optimistic about the future.

We asked 708 printers and 234 suppliers for this year’s Global Trends Report. The data show a trend that started recently: After the recession in 2008, the recovery slowly but constantly continues. The printing industry is focusing on how to exploit the integration of digital communication and technological innovations the best way possible.

Positive Prospects Despite Financial Challenges

The participants of last year’s Global Trends Report had very high expectations. Even though they were not met completely, the current situation is very positive. 40 percent of printers and 56 percent of suppliers described the state of their business as ‘good’, compared to only nine (five) percent who are somewhat worried about the future and claimed their business to be ‘poor’. The confidence is highest in North America and Europe, whereas Africa and the Middle East keep struggling and are less confident.

Despite the mainly positive prospects, both sides face financial challenges. While printers of the American continents barely report sinking prices, margins in the Middle East have been dropping severely. On the contrary, suppliers mainly face financial difficulty in Central and South America. As a result, companies are trying to raise their utilization and thus keep increasing their profit.

Digitalisation Drives Functional Printing

This year’s survey shows that the boom of digital printing keeps progressing. Printing with electrophotography or inkjet machines are the most widespread processes these days. 30 percent of respondents claimed that more than a fourth of their turnover is the result of digital print. The impact of digitalization can be seen most clearly in the field of functional printing. 60 percent of respondents explained that more than a half of their turnover is due to digital processes. So it is no surprise that run lengths of digital printing are rising.

As the economic confidence is growing, the capital expenditures of printers and suppliers are increasing as well. Just as last year, the focus for print investment is on finishing, followed by print technology. Suppliers plan to invest primarily in building new sales channels and improving marketing. The measures which, as a result of economic trends, will need to be addressed in the future, will vary depending on market sectors, just as the planned investments will.

Innovation is Key to Strong Economy

It can be concluded that none of our Global Trends Reports so far has been as positive as this one. The global economy experiences a significant growth. This circumstance makes our participants pleased about the upcoming year. Neither printers nor suppliers believe the development of digital media and the integration of digital communication to be a threat to the industry. On the contrary, many new opportunities to make use of innovations and to drive technological progress arise. North America and Europe proof how the exploitation of new technologies can be the key to be economically successful in the future.

Executive Summary and Full Version Available

Organizing drupa, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH thanks all participants as well as our partners Printfuture (UK) and Wissler & Partner (Switzerland), who helped us authoring and conducting this survey.

The executive summary of the 5th drupa Global Trends Report provides a differentiated insight into the findings mentioned above. It contains all economically relevant trends with respect to the various regions and market segments. A PDF of this summary will be available in German, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese by the end of April. The full version PDF can be purchased for 249,00 Euro at Messe Düsseldorf. In addition to the 5th drupa Global Trends Report, a survey on inkjet printing will be available in May.

Which of the data do you find most interesting? Do you wish additional information on any topic? Send us an E-Mail to drupa-expert-panel@drupa.de or leave a comment in the section below.