Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

By Baker Li

TAIPEI, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Acer (2353.TW), the world’s No.3 PC vendor, expects stronger PC sales to boost revenue "very close" to $20 billion this year, above market expectations and up about 40 percent from last year.

Acer Inc Chief Executive Officer and President Gianfranco Lanci issued the forecasts on Friday and reaffirmed his company’s sales target for the third quarter, echoing comments made by Acer’s chairman earlier this month.

"We don’t see any deterioration in sales," Lanci told a news conference in Hungary that was made available on the Internet.

Acer expects its third quarter sales to rise up to 25 percent from the second quarter, despite recent signs of a sector slowdown from industry giants Dell (DELL) and Taiwan’s Compal Electronics (2324.TW).

"We said we want to be at $20 billion this year. We’ll be at very close to $20 billion," Lanci said at the conference, where he said Acer is adopting a multi-brand strategy after acquiring U.S. rival Gateway and Paris-based Packard Bell.

"We will achieve more than 30 million PCs this year."

The PC sales would be up about a half from last year.

Acer’s revenue forecast is above the average forecast of T$588.5 billion ($18.3 billion), according to Reuters Estimates, which also showed Acer’s revenue would rise further to T$806.1 billion in 2010.

Lanci’s comments came after the Taipei stock market closed on Friday. Acer shares surged 7 percent to the daily limit, outperforming the main TAIEX’s 5.8 percent gain.

"We’ve set another goal and we are working to in order get there, which is to get from 20 to 30 billion dollars within 2011 … to become Number one in notebooks," Lanci said.

Acer aims to usurp Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ) as the world’s largest notebook PC supplier by 2011, but Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said its success in the netbook PC segment may help it happen ahead of the original target year.

Acer held a 15.6 percent share in the global notebook PC market in the first half of 2008, behind HP’s 21.3 percent and ahead of Dell’s 14.9 percent, according to Gartner.

Besides PCs, Acer is working on projects to launch smart hand-held devices, Lanci said, without giving other details.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said he expects Acer’s notebook PC sales to hit a record 3.8 million units in September, followed by further growth in October and November, despite an economic slowdown.

Acer’s PC sales are driven by its new Aspire One low-cost, mini notebook model. Acer expects sales of Aspire One, which competes with Asustek Computer’s (2357.TW) Eee PC, to exceed 1 million units in September.

Acer aims to take 30 percent of that market by selling 15 million units of its own mini PCs, Wang said. The company plans to sell 5 to 7 million Aspire Ones in 2008. (Additional reporting by Tarmo Virki in HELSINKI; Editing by Anshuman Daga) (US$1=T$32.2)

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved