In its latest IC Market Tracking survey, InterConnection Consulting estimates that Europe's pro-audio market achieved sales of just over 1bn euros in 2006 - reflecting a growth rate of 3.5% over the previous year. The largest share of the market belongs to touring and live sound with 37% of sales. Public and institutional installations account for 14.1%, but ICC estimates that this will rise to 14.7% by 2009.
Regionally, ICC calculates that Germany is the largest market in Europe for pro-audio, accounting for almost a third of all sales in 2006. The UK is the second-largest market, with France, Italy and Spain accounting for 28.6% of sales between them. Germany also showed the strongest growth at 4.9% - a reflection of the national economy playing 'catch-up' with some of its European competitors, according to ICC.
While many European and American pro-audio manufacturers are either considering outsourcing manufacturing to the Far East or have already done so, the ICC report suggests that clear product differentiation and branding can still justify the higher cost of producing closer to home. "Companies who know their customers and cater to those customers' requirements need have no fear of Asian competition," says ICC industry analyst Martin Schimetits.
The full version of the ICC report, which carries information garnered from 60 companies and is some 230 pages long, is available for 6,900 euros, while regional excerpts from the top 5 national markets are available separately for 2,900 euros each.