PC revenues holding up

Context figures indicate that although volumes might be down slightly revenues have increased for distributors in the first couple of months of this year

The momentum enjoyed by the PC market last year has held up over the first couple of months of 2019 with revenue through distribution continuing to rise.

An analysis of the market from Context has charted a 6% increase in PC revenues, reaching €2bn, with those improvements coming on the back of growth in 2018.

But those revenues are not as a result of volumes increasing, with those flat last year and dropping slightly in January and February, but because of a rise in average sale prices (ASP) in distribution.

The ASP for PCs sold across Western Europe was €622, an increase of 7% on the same period last year. There has been an upward trend in prices, with them rising year-on-year 4% between 2017 and 18.

There have been reasons for prices to rise, with component costs and currency rates key factors, but there is also an ongoing increase in the popularity of higher-value products.

“This product-mix shift is the result of commercial sales outperforming consumer systems, and so forming a larger proportion of products sold, as well as increasing demand for high-value items such as premium notebooks, gaming machines and workstations”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context.

The UK delivered a modest improvement of 1.9% in year-on-year PC revenue for the first couple of months of the year. Belgium was well ahead with 31.8%, with Italy (16.6%) and Portugal (16.4%) also starting 2019 strongly.

The Context analysis will come as a relief to some of those concerned that component shortages were going to be a problem for the first half of this year.

Last month, IDC sounded the warning over the prospects for this year with the analyst's latest quarterly PC tracker forecasting unit sales across EMEA of 67.6m in 2019, which would be a 3.5 decline compared to the previous 12 months.

"The Western European PC market is expected to remain constrained, driven by the CPU supply chain shortage and the difficult political situation in major economies," said Malini Paul, research manager, IDC Western European Personal Computing Devices.

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