The sales of appliances in the first quarter of 2014 saw positive trends in Hungary, according to GfK Temax. The overall market grew by 14.9% in value. This was mainly driven by an upswing in the telecommunications, consumer electronics and major domestic appliances sectors. However, the small domestic appliances sector also registered a very positive trend with information technology contributing to the rise of sales as well.
Telecommunication: a growing demand for smartphones
Mobile phones have become part of our everyday lives and they have enjoyed great popularity in the first three months of 2014. This is illustrated by a 26% value-based increase in the product group’s turnover, compared to the same period last year. The reason for this growth in the first quarter is the high demand for smartphones. Feature phones have been marginalized with 60% of all handsets sold having been smartphones. This trend contributes to the growth of the sales value as the market moves towards smartphones.
Consumer electronics: panel TVs continue to boost the sector
With sales volume of HUF16.1 billion, the CE market closed the first quarter of 2014 with a sales increase of 21%, compared to the same period last year. This growth was boosted by the continuing demand for panel TVs. Within the TV category, particularly, the demand for large screen (37 inches and above) sets increased significantly. Also, demand for 32-inch (and below) TVs was growing, helped by an increasing range of cheaper models. Beyond TV, video game consoles were more popular than ever, producing a respectable sales boom in Q1, mainly due to the launch of the PS4 platform.
Small domestic appliances: the effects of strong promotional activity
After a really successful fourth quarter last year, 2014 started as well as 2013 finished. SDA sales increased by 20.4%, compared to the first quarter of 2013. Sales promotions – which started last year – continued into the first few months of the new year and affected many product groups. Coffee machines, kettles and toasters reached double-digit growth, but the biggest increase can be seen in the food preparation category. Food processors, liquidizers and hand blenders showed the biggest growth in Hungary. Only hair styling products and deep fryers did not perform as well as in the year before.
Major domestic appliances: stable growth
The first three months of 2014 brought steady growth for the sector. Compared to the first quarter of 2013, the MDA sector recorded a 19.6% increase, with each product group recording double-digit growth. However, the two most prominent categories were refrigerators and washing machines, thanks to the promotional activities of the retailers. In the refrigerators segment, the two-doors and bottom freezer models were the most popular, while – in terms of washing machines – the front-loading and slimline models were the biggest sellers.
Information technology: the popularity of tablets continues
Following a record-high performance in Q4 2013, the sector showed a 5.5% value-based growth in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period last year. The upswing was driven by tablets, which has shown continuously high popularity for a number of quarters. The keyboard segment also did well. This is not surprising, as they are a complementary tool for many popular electronic devices (such us tablets, PCs, TVs) to make data input much easier. However, not every product group performed well. Storage devices stagnated, while webcams were hit by a double-digit decline, compared to the same period last year.
Photography: a mild downturn in Q1
The Hungarian photography market shows a quite negative development. With a 4.1% drop in the year-on-year comparison, this sector reached a turnover of HUF1.99 billion. The main reason was the decline of traditional, fixed-lens compacts, while the still-growing segments – D-SLRs, and especially the compact system camera (MILC) with strong price erosion – could not compensate for the continuous decline of the fixed-lens market. It seems that the traditional compact camera segment is the most challenging for this year, as it has been strongly affected by the boom in sales of smartphones.
Office equipment and consumables: declining revenue because of consumables
The sector suffered a medium downturn of revenue, which was 8.5% lower in Q1 2014, compared to the same period last year. The performance of different product groups varied. The demand for office hardware (printers and multifunctional devices) intensified, while the sales of ink cartridges and toners shrank. The overall result was negative because of the greater weight of consumables within the sector.