Just before the weekend break, we received a report from miss Eszter Morvay, Research Manager at IDC - reported its quarterly results for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region of the world. Even with all the doom and gloom about recession, whispers of depression - numbers debunked numbers from all the doom and gloom spinners.
Looking at the numbers, EMEA swallowed 21.55 million computers during Q1'2009, 10% down from 23.95 million shipped last year. Western Europe looked unaffected by recession, since the market decreased by half a point: 14.98 million computers compared to 15.06 million.
Situation changes for the worse once that we look at Central & Eastern Europe, market covering Emerging Market countries such as Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and so on. According to IDC, this region shrunken with the collapse of Russian credit market: Q1'09 saw 3.02 million computers, down from 5.11 million a year ago.
This shocking fall comes as a consequence of some unpleasant facts, such as that CEE region mostly buys computers using credit lines that recently dried out. United Arab Emirates and nearby countries also felt the squeeze of the crisis, with 6.1% fall: from 3.78 to "just" 3.55 million units. Given that both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are leading markets in the MEA region, we were not susprised to se this fall - moderate drop, but still present.
But getting back on the Western Europe, it looks like all the doom and gloom really didn't affected smartly-positioned companies. After learning that one of UK's System Integrators expanded during worst two quarters in history of PC market Q4'08 and Q1'09, we got an unusual answer from Tony Riccardi, Sales and Marketing Director for MESH Computers:
"Actually, we’re having a great time. What you have to remember is that even with a reduction in overall size, the UK market is still going to be worth significantly more than 10 million units a year. While the major OEMs might suffer difficulties with the drop in market size due to their over-inflated structures and inefficiencies, strong local players like MESH Computers can capitalize. In response to the market challenges, we have simply stepped up our product development cycles and increased our marketing spend. As a result, we are seeing a strong increase in sales year-on-year, and we fully expect that to continue."
Looking into Q2, besides Tony, we also asked several players on the Croatian, Czech, Slovakian and Russian markets - and positive trends are already noticeable. We'll see can IDC provide data for this optimism in July, when we see the results of Q2'09 [April-May-June].