Taiwan's Acer swings to profit after three years of losses

The Acer Aspire R13 laptop and tablet is displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 7, 2015.

TAIPEI - Taiwan's struggling personal computer maker Acer said Wednesday it turned a profit in 2014 following three successive years of net losses.

The company recorded a net profit of Tw$1.79 billion (US$56.46 million. S$77 million) last year but revenues fell by 8.5 per cent to Tw$329.68 billion.

In the fourth quarter it recorded a net profit of Tw$654 million, a dramatic turnaround from the fourth quarter of 2013 when it suffered a net loss of Tw$7.63 billion.

"The results show that Acer has stayed profitable throughout the entire year with increasing profits each consecutive quarter, and has steadily turned its operations around," the company said in a statement.

A spokeswoman cited a continued improvement in the product mix that includes notebooks and desktop computers as well as tablets and smartphones.

"We've kept adjusting the product mix contingent upon the demands of various markets," she said.

The company started swinging to profit in the first quarter of 2014 following a series of reforms initiated late the previous year by founder Stan Shih.

He returned from retirement to become chairman and interim president after two top executives quit over the firm's poor performance.

Shih had founded Acer in 1976 and retired in 2004. In its heydey Acer was the world's second largest PC maker and one of the best known Taiwanese brands internationally.

Its fortunes worsened in recent years as sales were hit by competition from Apple and other rivals.

Last June Acer named co-founder George Huang to succeed Shih as chairman. Shih in December 2013 had relinquished his positions of CEO and president to Jason Chen, a former marketing executive at leading microchip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.