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Acer expects sales to rebound in second half

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Acer Inc. said yesterday it expects its PC shipments to increase in the second half of this year as the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will bring new opportunities to the industry.

“Our sales in the third and fourth quarter will certainly be better than in the first half, but we are still calculating by how much,” Acer Chairman and CEO J.T. Wang said at a shareholders' general meeting.

Wang said he has become more confident about Acer's overall competitiveness since its reorganization last year and he believes the company's sales will increase in July and August when distributors begin to prepare for the back-to-school season.

In 2011, Acer's consolidated revenue was NT$475.3 billion (US$15.7 billion), a decline of 24.4 percent year-on year. It reported operating losses of NT$6.4 billion and loss per share of NT$2.52.

“In the past few years, our corporate strategy has been maximizing volume growth via multi-brands. However, front and back-end operations have become too complicated to manage because of the redundant brands and product models,” Acer said in its 2011 business report to shareholders.

On the development of tablet PCs and mobile devices, Acer said it is focusing strategically on a limited selection of models to pursue business performance.

In its outlook for 2012, Acer expects the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system to bring about substantial business opportunities for the company in areas such as thin and light Ultrabook laptops, Wang said.

He said Acer's business operations are becoming more stable and are returning to the “right track.”

“With persistent hard work, 2012 will be the year of return to growth and profitability,” Wang said.

He forecast that worldwide Ultrabook sales will “take off” in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2013 with the adoption of the touch-enabled Windows 8 platform.

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