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Bullish Acer edges back into profit

Alex Scroxton

Acer CEO JT Wang has hailed a "turnaround" quarter after posting a small post-tax profit of NT$75m (£1.61m) in the final quarter of 2011.

The figure came in below analyst expectations but will be a tonic for Acer, which posted two consecutive quarters of losses in a largely dismal 2011 that saw the PC market big-hitter repeatedly humbled.

Total fourth quarter sales came in at NT$127.7bn, up 8.3% on Q3 but down 14.4% year-on-year and for the full year, NT$475.5bn, a 24.4% decline on 2010.

A full year post-tax loss of NT$6.4bn came mainly due to its now infamous EMEA stock write-off last June.

In a brief statement, Acer said its current financial and business operation was "becoming more healthy and stable".

Acer is betting big money on ultrabooks - recently hailed by Gartner as a potential cure-all for the beleaguered PC client industry - being the way to buyers' hearts in 2012.

In a recent interview with MicroScope the firm's UK boss Neil Marshall predicted that ultrabooks could make up to 40% of notebook shipments this year, a sentiment today echoed by company bosses in Taiwan, who are expected its ultrabook portfolio to account for 35% of its 2012 revenues.

Acer is also in the process of revamping its partner-facing business to capture more commercial business, and is expected to announce a new partner programme in the spring.

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