UPDATE 2-Acer Q1 business strong, boosts 2008 target
(Adds quotes, details, background)
By Sheena Lee
TAIPEI, April 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Acer Inc (2353.TW: Cotización), the world's No.3 PC vendor, posted strong results for its core business in the first quarter and raised its sales forecast for the rest of the year as it expands aggressively.
Ranking behind Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N: Cotización) and Dell Inc DELL.O, but ahead of China's Lenovo (0992.HK: Cotización), Acer has expanded into fast growth consumer markets such as China, India, Russia, Latin America and the Middle East.
It has also grown through a series of acquisitions, including U.S. computer brand Gateway Inc and Paris-based Packard Bell, giving it 9.5 percent of the global PC market in January-March, according to preliminary data from Gartner cited by Acer.
Acer said fear and uncertainty in the wake of the U.S subprime mortgage crisis had begun to ease and retail sales had not been hit by a slowing U.S. economy, as some industry watchers had forecast.
As part of its expansion, Acer aims to ship 25-30 million PCs this year, up from a previous target of more than 25 million. The company said it shipped 20-21 million PCs last year, of which 17-18 million were notebook computers.
"Second quarter demand is very good," said Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci told an investor conference. "Twenty-five million is the minimum level."
Acer expects particularly strong growth from its notebook PC division, with shipments estimated to rise more than 40 percent this year, Chairman J.T. Wang told reporters. Continuación...