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TAIPEI, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Acer, the world’s No. 3 PC seller, said its operating income rose 44 percent in the fourth quarter, as it included results from its recently acquired U.S.-based Gateway unit.

Acer said fourth-quarter operating income hit T$3.5 billion ($106.6 million), and that Gateway was profitable for the quarter, according to preliminary results released late on Monday.

Fourth-quarter consolidated revenue rose 24 percent from a year earlier to T$146.7 billion, the company said.

"Holding an optimistic outlook for the 2008 PC industry, Acer expects its notebook [business] to grow by 40 percent and total PCs by 30-35 percent on-year, in terms of unit shipments," the company said in the statement.

Acer, which competes with China’s Lenovo, said in December it expected its sales to shoot up 50 percent or more over the next four years as it embarked on a worldwide expansion following the Gateway acquisition.

(Reporting by Doug Young; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)

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