Tue, Nov 30, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Acer expects fair to boost local sales

ELECTRONICS EXPO The IT Month fair is expected to boost domestic sales for computer vendors, amid lower-than-expected global sales for Christmas

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Acer Inc, the world's No. 5 computer vendor, expects quarterly sales on its home turf to increase moderately, helped by an upcoming annual computer fair targeting local consumers, a company official said yesterday.

"We are upbeat about growth fueled by the annual shopping season during IT Month, as demand may spike with most companies creating last-minute hype to boost sales before the year ends," said Calvin Chang (張敬仁), a vice president of Acer's marketing division.

The IT Month computer fair is scheduled to begin Saturday and will continue through the whole month of next month in various cities, according to the organizer, the Taipei Computer Association (台北市電腦公會).

Chang's remarks come amid lower than expected global demand for desktop computers during the Christmas shopping season, according to industry watchers.

"Overall, the sales increase [from IT Month] will push our fourth quarter sales at home mildly higher," Chang said.

Acer, which has a hefty 60-percent of its sales coming from Europe, still expects a solid 30-percent growth in consolidated sales in the current quarter versus the previous three months, Chang said.

Sean Hsiao (蕭文良), an analyst with Fubon Securities Investment Services Co (富邦投顧), said appetites for notebook computers, in particular, would be spurred during the IT Month period as most companies will wage price wars to snare purchases.

"The shopping spree for local consumers will at least offset the pressure of a sales decline in December as product shipments for Christmas demand usually peak in November," Hsiao said.

Hsiao expects computer vendors to cut prices for laptops by at least 10 percent, or NT$4,000 to NT$5,000, as sharp price declines in both liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels and Intel's chipsets give ample room for the companies to slash prices.

Acer, however, expects desktop computer prices to drop by around NT$1,000 to NT$2,000.

There is scant room for price cuts in laptop computers as stiff competition has driven prices down sharply since the beginning of the year, Acer's Chang said.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's biggest motherboard supplier, said it will not count on dramatic price cuts for sales growth. Asustek branched into the own-brand notebook computer sector seeking new growth six years ago.

"Without a drastic price-cutting strategy, Asustek still expects the computer fair to bring brisk growth," Benson Lin (林宗樑), president of Asustek's Asia Pacific division, said yesterday.

Sales from IT Month usually make up about 40-45 percent of Asustek's total sales at its local branch in the fourth quarter, Lin said. Apart from notebook computers, Asustek is also set to sell the first batch of its own-brand LCD monitors during the month-long computer trade show.

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