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HP boss warns that printed page numbers are down

by on10 June 2024

Maybe that ink was too expensive

The maker of printer ink, which is more expensive than gold, HP, has noted that the  number of pages being printed at home and in the office is decreasing.

Speaking at Bernstein's 40th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference recently, HP's leader Enrique Lores recognised the difficulties faced by the printing sector, noting that the volume of printed pages has fallen by a fifth since the Covid outbreak.

Lores told the gathered throngs: "In the office environment, it's clear that the quantity of printed pages is less than before the pandemic. This is largely due to what we refer to as hybrid work. With fewer people in the office each day, the number of pages printed has decreased.

"I refer to pages as an indicator because what happens with page volumes ultimately affects device sales. Before the pandemic, we predicted a 20 per cent decrease in printing. Looking at the current numbers, that's roughly the situation we find ourselves in."

Lores said that during the pandemic the number of printed pages went up, but since then, the number has been on the decline." However, he stated that these levels were anticipated.

The industrial customer segment has been "affected over the past two or three years by a decrease in capital investments." Still, there are signs of recovery, with these customers printing more labels and packaging.

HP’s comments mirrored similar research by IDC which indicated that approximately 450 billion fewer pages were printed globally in homes and offices in 2020 compared to the year before the pandemic, representing a 19 per cent drop. This trend has only accelerated a long-standing pattern.

HP has endeavoured to maximise revenue from supplies and profits by encouraging more customers to subscribe and selling printers with pre-loaded ink.

Lores mentioned that HP predicts printer hardware sales will continue falling by the low to middle single digits. This trend is exacerbated by customers using their printers for more extended periods.

"We're beginning to notice that as hardware sales drop, the lifespan of printers is being extended. We're attempting to determine precisely how significant this extension is," he said to the attendees.

Last modified on 10 June 2024
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