DRUPA REPORT TO SAY PRINT OPTIMISTIC
The ninth drupa Global Trends Report, to be published next month, will be a clear statement of increasing confidence in print across almost all regions and markets.
According to the report, compiled and created from a global survey of some 600 print business leaders around the world, including those in ANZ, printers and suppliers alike are forecasting 2024 will be a positive year for print.
Globally 32 per cent more printers and suppliers described their company’s economic condition as ‘good’ compared with those that reported it as ‘poor’. Amongst printers, almost all regions and markets were more buoyant than 2019, the last year before Covid.
Richard Gray, operations director at Printfuture which ran the survey said, “While positive forecasts might be expected from packaging and functional printers, what was pleasing was the increasing confidence amongst commercial and publishing printers.
“It would appear that commercial and publishing printers have weathered the worst of the impact of digitisation, and are starting to plan ahead with more confidence.”
According to drupa, the source of such confidence across all markets is clear from the financial performance figures provided. Globally, 50 per cent more printers raised prices in 2023 than lowered them, sustaining the pattern of last year, after the previous seven years of falling prices. Better revenues and margins have followed. This pattern was true across all markets, although there were regional variations.
The report says the resilience of sheetfed offset print volume across all markets is “remarkable”, matched amongst packaging printers by growth in flexo. Digital toner cutsheet colour print volume remains the leader among digital print technologies.
Capital expenditure, which tumbled during Covid, recovered a little last year and accelerated this year, with 27 per cent more printers investing more in 2023 than those who reduced expenditure; a better global figure than any year since 2017. An even higher investment rate is forecast for 2024, by both printers and suppliers.
In general, print technology and finishing remain the most popular targets, with sheetfed offset and digital toner cutsheet colour being the most popular technologies globally, though there are significant variations by market.
The report says strong industry growth forecasts must be balanced by recognition of stiff economic headwinds, with the risk of recession, or at least damaging inflation, now outweighing the impact of the pandemic and a wide variety of more specific regional socio-economic concerns.
Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa and global head of Print Technologies at Messe Duesseldorf, said, “Printers and suppliers know they must innovate to succeed in the longer term. I am confident that drupa 2024 will be the ideal opportunity to explore how best to achieve this objective.”
The full report in English will be released by mid of November and will be available for sale from www.drupa.com. All ANZ printers that filled in the online survey will receive a free copy.