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 user 2008-06-10 at 11:19:15 am Views: 98
  • #20338
    Samsung makes aggressive printers push in Europe

    * Plans printers push in Europe
    * Aims to overtake HP in lasers by 2012
    * Plans to widen its portfolio

    FRANKFURT, June 08 – Korean technology group Samsung plans an aggressive campaign to sell more printers in Europe and says it aims to overtake rival Hewlett-Packard in laser printers by 2012.”We’re incredibly committed to this market,” Graham Long, newly appointed head of European printing at Samsung, told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Printing is something that is recognised by the group as a growth priority.”"I think now is a particularly interesting time as organisations are looking to consolidate copying and printing, one of the last areas enterprises can look to cut costs.”

    Samsung has a record of meeting aggressive targets it sets for itself and is the biggest or second-biggest player in the major markets in which it is active, including memory chips, flat panels and cellphones.”I think everybody ought to be very wary and watch what Samsung’s doing because they do have that track record,” Malcolm Hancock, principal analyst for the EMEA print market at research firm Gartner said on Friday.Nonetheless, it has a long way to go. Samsung had 17 percent of the Europe, Middle East and Africa market in A4 laser printers last quarter, according to research firm Gartner — a distant second to Hewlett-Packard’s 48 percent.”It’s a big, big target to have,” Hancock said.Still, it improved its market share from 14 percent a year earlier, while HP’s share slipped very slightly.Samsung has been growing fast in the market segment of A4 laser printers and multi-function devices — printers that have additional functions such as scanning or photocopying.The business turned over $550 million in Europe last year — a 41 percent increase in dollar terms over its 2006 sales. For this year, it targets a 52 percent increase.Long, a recruit from HP, recognises that Samsung needs to widen its portfolio to be able to add more large enterprises to its customer base, which mainly consists of small and medium-sized companies today.”Until now, Samsung’s offering hasn’t necessarily been strong enough to meet requirements across the board,” he said.Specifically, he wants to add A3 printing capabilities within the next 18 months, and may look to acquisitions to gain complementary technology.”Currently, we’re looking at various strategies. Acquisition isn’t off the table. We will look to grow primarily organically,” he said.Long also plans to hire more staff, about another 20 initially in addition to the 250 Samsung currently has in its western European printing business. “I’ll be looking to recruit other top talent from competitors,” he said.He is also talking to top systems integrators such as Fujitsu and Capgemini to help sell Samsung’s offerings to larger companies, though he said he had no definite agreements with such partners yet.Gartner’s Hancock said persuading customers to switch to Samsung from HP would be tough.”In enterprises, people buy printers without thinking; they buy HP without thinking. They’re not going through all the players in the market to compare them,” he said.Long said if Samsung could make a breakthrough in Europe, where some markets are already mature and a multitude of languages provides a challenge, it should be able to repeat that in other regions.”If we can achieve it here, we can replicate it,” he said.