Xerox saw a 25 to 30 per cent growth in the number of printers it shipped into the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region in 2008, according to one of its top executives.
At the company's annual partner meeting being held in Dubai, Dan Smith, Xerox's General Manager for Integrated Marketing, said: "Activity-wise, the amount of units shipped into the MEA region has increased by 25 to 30 per cent in 2008. The big success has come from the low-end markets in Africa and especially in retail from South Africa. This has helped Xerox increase its retail presence in the region."
Xerox holds partner conferences every year. The previous one was held in Muscat, Oman.
"There are 120 people attending the conference from the MEA region and this shows the success we enjoy here. Xerox has had double-digit growth in the region since 2006 and hopes to continue it in 2009.
"This is another reason we are having this conference – to let our partners know the projected growth figures for 2009 to help us achieve it," said Smith.
According to the International Data Corporation, a research group specialising in the IT sphere, unit shipment growth is expected to increase from single function printers to multi-function printers (MFP). A change is also expected at the consumer level from mono to colour printers.
"There is a big increase in growth in the A4 MFP segment. In fact, we are seeing growth in all our consumer segments, including the enterprise and small and medium business sectors. Even in times of recession, revenue growth will happen with good offerings and unit shipments will increase, but trading conditions will change," Smith said.
Xerox claims that the recession has not affected the company and it is growing both in value and volume. "We are selective about where we choose to invest and therefore are looking at bringing in more partners in the still under-penetrated geographies for Xerox, such as Saudi Arabia and also the UAE – especially areas outside Dubai like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Fujairah. Qatar and Kuwait are two other big potential markets for the company," said Smith.
The company feels although the colour printer segment is an expensive proposition, it will continue to grow. "In colour printers there will be an emphasis on solutions to control costs. There will be increase in speed, quality control and cost calculated by print by consumers."
Xerox is also an active player in the services space and will be announcing new customers from the region this month. It has significant deals in Saudi Arabia and also smaller regions like Malta, which is under the MEA region.