Bob Raikes, Managing Director, Meko Ltd:
At the moment, the market for Public Displays in EMEA looks positive, and we expect the year to end with growth of around 20% on a year on year basis. Eastern Europe is up by a lot less, but the West and MEA are up by even more.
The UK saw good growth in 2014, with Q3 a new record for the region after a big project for Macdonalds, while Germany has been broadly flat after a good Q1 – a pattern that has applied over the market as a whole. The Mediterranean countries saw a really good first half of 2014, but with a less positive result in Q3 (although that is the normal seasonal pattern in this region).
There were some good projects in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of 2013, so it will hard to repeat the strong growth between 2012 and 2013 in 2014. Of course, the situation in Russia and the Ukraine is damaging to the market in the region. Shipment results have so far been unaffected, but things look tough in Russia for 2015 as a result of the low oil prices and weak rouble.
There has been lots of hype about UltraHD panels in the TV market – the demand is being driven by Chinese consumers, in particular, but there are many barriers to UltraHD in the professional market. There is no question that UItraHD in the longer term, but the small volumes of the professional display market impose high costs on low volume products and that will be a big barrier. At the moment, most of the demand will be focused on products such as 84”, where a single UltraHD monitor could be used to replace a 2 x 2 array of 42” FullHD panels.