Tue, Aug 22, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Acer expects domestic shipment growth

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Acer Inc, the world's No. 4 computer maker, expects domestic shipments to grow this quarter, helped by back-to-school demand, but lukewarm economic growth would drive down average selling prices, a company executive said yesterday.

Last quarter, Acer's shipments in Taiwan jumped 30 percent from the previous year to 84,800 units, mostly because of demand for notebook computers, said Scott Lin (林顯郎), Acer's president for Taiwan and Hong Kong operations.

Lin expected the momentum to extend into the current quarter.

"Back-to-school demand will be there in the Taiwanese market as well as in America, as it used to be," Lin told reporters during a product launch in Taipei.

Monthly shipments would rise to 40,000 units during the third quarter, Lin said, representing about 30 percent growth from 30,000 units per month on average last quarter.

But Lin implied revenue growth would be much slower than shipment growth, as he expected average selling prices to slide sharply. He did not give a specific forecast about the decline.

"Recently, consumers have tended to spend less on computers, as slow economic growth has made them unwilling to loosen their purse strings," Lin said.

Sales from the home market only made up 5 percent of the computer brand's total revenues.

Acer generated more than half of its revenues in Europe.

Acer said net income almost doubled to NT$4.02 billion (US$122.97 million), or NT$1.82 per share, during the first quarter, compared with NT$2.15 billion, or NT$0.97 a share, the year earlier. Revenues were up 26 percent to NT$83 billion.

Acer forecast earlier this year that revenues this year would rise to NT$400 billion and net income would grow to NT$10 billion.

Yesterday, Acer unveiled a series of small desktop computers which are one-tenth the size of average desktops.

The new products are set to hit the shelves of local computer stores later this month ahead of the back-to-school shopping season next month.

Lin expected sales of the slim computers would grow at a 45 percent composite annual average rate to 2010, citing a forecast by market researcher International Data Corp.

The small computers would account for around 30 percent of the 8 million to 10 million desktop computers Acer hoped to sell next year around the globe, Lin said.

He said Acer's competitors such as Dell Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co had not released similar products.

Acer shares dropped 5.94 percent to NT$44.3 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, underperforming against the overall market, which declined 3.2 percent.

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