Thu, Jul 21, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Asustek to hike UK prices

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday confirmed that it is to raise PC prices in the UK in October at the earliest, in the wake of the sharp depreciation of the British pound against the US dollar following Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

Asustek becomes the third PC vendor to announce price increases in the UK after Dell Inc and HP Inc.

Dell had informed its retail partners it would increase prices by 10 percent from this month, while HP is to follow the scale of Dell’s hike, effective from next month.

Asustek, the third-largest PC vendor in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said it expects suggested retail prices in the UK to climb by about 9 percent next quarter.

“We are unable to continue to sustain the losses caused by a weaker pound any further, and therefore have no choice but to increase the cost of goods to our partners in line with the value of the pound,” Asustek’s UK sales division said in a statement.

The pound has weakened throughout the first half, Asustek said.

The company had worked with local retail partners to absorb the currency fluctuation and provide competitive prices, but after the June 23 referendum the pound dropped even further, and it is now trading 15 percent lower against the US dollar than it was a year ago, adding more pressure on Asustek, it said.

Asustek spokesman Nick Wu (吳長榮) said the company’s 9 percent price adjustment would only affect the UK market, but the company would consider adjusting its prices in other European countries if the economic environment in the eurozone turns weaker and drags the value of the euro significantly, he added.

In response to Asustek’s decision to raise its PC prices in the UK, Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said it is cautiously evaluating the feasibility of adjusting its prices there.

Acer chairman George Huang (黃少華) on July 6 told reporters that the firm would seek to retain its PC prices in the short term and decide whether or not to alter prices after monitoring the moves of the firm’s peers.

However, if Acer does not raise its PC prices, it might be difficult to maintain its margin level this quarter, Huang said.

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