GfK Temax Italy: relaunch of the market

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The first quarter of 2015 saw a positive result: the turnover in the Italian technical consumer goods market was €4.24 billion, an increase of 4.1%, compared to the same period last year. The telecommunications sector was the main positive contributor, while the major and small domestic appliances sectors continued to show increased turnover. The office equipment and consumables sector recorded improved sales, while the Information technology, consumer electronics and photography sectors registered falls in turnover.

Telecommunications
In the first quarter of 2015, the telecommunications sector reported an increased turnover – up by 16.9%, compared to the same quarter of 2014. Once again, the smartphones segment was the main driver in this sector with the most significant, positive contribution being made by premium models. Mobile enhancements and mobile phone headsets continued their growth, and phone devices – after decreased turnover in recent years – showed some positive signs.

Small domestic appliances
In the first quarter of 2015, the SDA sector registered an increased turnover – up by 9.2%, compared to the same period last year. Strong growth was noted in the kitchen appliances segment, mainly due to sales of food preparation equipment – primarily the kitchen machines and food processors segments, which were boosted by promotional initiatives. Turnover also increased for many other kitchen products, notably in the juice extractors and espresso machines segments. Positive trends were recorded in the area of personal care where beard styling products and female epilation products saw an increased turnover. Hair styling products returned to growth while dental care products and hair dryers maintained their improvement. Boosted by the vacuum cleaners market – especially in the hand stick, rechargeable, and robotic versions – the home care products segment reported a positive performance after years of difficulties. This was in spite of falling turnover in the irons segment.

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Major domestic appliances
The major domestic appliances sector started the year in a positive way, with an increased turnover – up by 2.3%, compared to Q1 2014. The washing products segment continued to boost the market, thanks to an improvement in the sales of heat pump tumble dryers. Good performances were also noted for washing machines and dishwashers. Turnover increased for cooking products: in particular, microwave ovens recorded a strong perfomance. The cooling products segment – refrigerators and freezers – was the main negative contributor. However, wine cabinets registered a strong recovery.

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Office equipment and consumables
The latest quarter marked a growth of business in the office equipment and consumables sector – up by 3.2%, compared to the same period last year. The increased turnover was largely due to cartridges – boosted by the laser cartridges segment – and was in part due to a slight recovery in the multifunctional devices segment, thanks to inkjet print technology.

Consumer electronics
In the first quarter of 2015, the consumer electronics sector recorded a fall: down by 6.4%, compared to Q1 2014. Despite the overall loss of business, static audio products continued to show an increased turnover. This was largely due to a positive contribution from home audio systems, boosted by the “connected” segment. The panel/flat-screen TVs segment – the most important product group in this sector – continued to decline, mainly due to falling prices. This was despite larger screens and higher definition resolution.

Information technology
In the first quarter of 2015, the IT sector recorded a negative performance, with a fall in turnover of 4.5%, compared to Q1 2014. This fall was mainly due to the hardware products segment. While mediatablets showed a decline in sales turnover, largely due to lower demand and aggressive price reductions, desktop computing products continued to record positive trends. This also helped to boost the turnover in the monitors market. Sales of mobile computing products fell in sales value, despite the positive contributions made by the “hybrids” segment and entry-level models. Finally, turnover increased for networking products, highlighting the need of consumers for a more connected home.

Photography
The first quarter of 2015 confirmed the fall in turnover in the photography sector, down by 7.4%, compared to the same quarter in 2014. The digital cameras segment was primarily responsible for the overall performance in this sector, while the positive contribution made by the interchangeable lenses segment was not enough to improve the final result.

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