PC revenues struggle in Europe

Sales of PCs in Europe are suffering according to a new survey from beancounters at Context.

The market research outfit showed figures that indicate sales of PCs to business and consumers across Europe struggled to keep level during the third quarter of this year.

The problem has been caused by vendors and distributors slashing prices to clear unsold stocks that had been building up since the end of 2010. 

Sales actually increased by nine percent in the third quarter of 2011, which was double last year. However that was mostly due to price cuts which resulted in a 10 percent drop in average selling prices. This meant that sales revenues collapsed for the quarter and were down 11 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Consumer demand for PCs was the worst, with European sales of consumer-oriented products down 18 percent for the quarter compared to last year.

The worst effected regions were Europe’s southern countries. In Italy, unit sales of PCs fell by ten percent compared to last year. Revenues were down 21 percent, while over the same period in Spain PC unit sales fell seven percent and revenues fell 15 percent.

But Jeremy Davies, co-founder and CEO of Context, hinted that there could be more woe to come, thanks to HP.

He said that the maker of expensive printer ink’s mulling over exiting the PC business has yet to have any negative effects on the company’s share in the quarter. In fact during this period it did rather well with the total unit sales through distribution rising from 31.6 per cent in Q3 2010 to 33.6 per cent.

But the implication is that if the sell off takes place, or punters lose their faith in HP as a maker of PCs then sales could fall and that would effect overall sales.