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Black Holes & Revelations: Acer's $687m Loss

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 20/01/2014

Losses continue to dog PC company, acknowledges "mistakes"

Acer reports net loss (NPAT) of US$687.11m for FY13, as sales dive 16%. 

The company also reported an operating loss of US$274.39m, in its Q4'13 preliminary financials, released Friday. 

Sales fell 6% in fourth quarter to $2.89bn. The Taiwanese computer giant also reported NPAT loss of $-254.79m, and EPS of NT$-2.8. 

The Q4 losses were blamed on "business underperformance and the price reduction of high-end products" .  

The No. 4 PC name in Australia suffers as the global PC industry suffered its biggest ever decline last year, with the market contracting 10%. 

Its full year 2013 revenues fell 16.2% year-on-year, to $12.03bn, with operating loss of $379.7m.

This is the latest in a series of losses the notebook maker has reported. CEO J.T. Wang was forced to step down last year after returning a net loss of $442.2 million in Q3. 

Last week, Acer's new CEO, Jason Chen, said "we need to dig ourselves out of a hole," admitting major mistakes in relation to Ultrabooks, and jumping on the touch screen bandwagon prematurely.

"Acer acknowledges missteps in the past on resource allocation, and the over expectation of ultrabooks and notebooks with touch panel. Although the products were leading in design they did not accurately fulfill market needs," the company said in a statement, Friday.  

Chen has promised a major transformation into a "hardware + software + services" company, and has pledged to formulate its product strategy with more caution and implement precise production planning and inventory control.

Acer's senior executives are also taking a share of the blame - taking a 30% salary cut. 

The company also wrote off $44m for raw materials inventory and other costs. 

Acer is the No. 4 PC maker in Australia with 11% market share.  

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