Garment printers and other print shops across Europe are upbeat about revenues in 2022, according to a new report from print specialist Roland DG EMEA.

Nearly half (49%) said they were projecting a modest or significant increase in revenue in 2022. Less than a quarter (24%) expected trading to be flat, and only 14% said they were expecting a decline.

The survey of more than 1,300 print businesses in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain was carried out for Roland DG EMEA for its annual State of Digital Printing in Europe report.

Across all print sectors, 11% said that they were “seizing the opportunities created by advances in fabric printing” in 2022 such as direct-to-fabric digital printing and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing.

The picture for this year contrasted with 2021 when, against the backdrop of lockdowns and drops in Covid-related government support, 58% of European print shops were flat or down on revenue in the 12 months to 31 December. Only a third (33%) reported turnover increases in the period.

Researchers found that performances in 2021 were mixed across different countries, adding that “the UK seems to have come off best, while Italy arguably faced the toughest conditions”.

Asked about the long-term impact of Covid-19, print shops displayed differences of opinion. More than a third (37%) said they believed that printing would return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, nearly a third (30%) thought it would be three years and a quarter (24%) reserved judgement.

When asked about key business objective over the next three years, nearly a third (30%) said they were setting their sights on increasing production capability and over a quarter (27%) said they were exploring some sort of expansion opportunity.

Stephen Davis, marketing director at Roland DG EMEA, said: “Although the industry is still navigating a tough, complex trading environment, the steady return of key industries such as travel, tourism and hospitality after Covid is clearly having a positive impact on confidence levels.

“Time and again, the printing industry has shown its remarkable ability to innovate and hustle its way out of a crisis. We are confident that this fearless approach will keep the sector vibrant for decades to come.”

The survey was carried out this spring before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered soaring energy prices.

Roland DG EMEA is a distribution, marketing and sales arm of Roland DG Corporation which manufactures printers, plotters and cutters such as the VersaStudio DTG series, the Texart dye sublimation series and TrueVis printer/cutters.