Print Outsourcing Gives Boost to Xerox, H-P

With companies around the world outsourcing their printing services, the printer and copier industry seems to have found a rare bright spot.

Big companies are increasingly hiring Xerox Corp. (XRX), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and others to provide “managed print services,” a variety of outsourcing in which the vendor takes control of the customer’s production of office documents, typically owning the machines, advising on how to use them, and taking a per-page charge.

The office-machine makers promise to cut document costs by as much as 30 percent by reducing the numbers of printers and copiers installed on office floors and desktops, replacing them with multifunction printer-copier-scanner-fax machines.

World-wide managed print services will amount to $20.3 billion this year, up 47 percent from last year, according to Photizo Group, a Lexington, Ky., market researcher. The segment looks increasingly attractive to manufacturers in a year when shipments of printers, copiers and multifunction devices are down 7 percent to $49.8 billion.

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