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Got a cold flannel? Acer Q3 profits were bigger than cost of your lunch

Three straight quarters of bottom line swelling. Looks and smells like a recovery. Sort of

2016 will forever be remembered for the Brexit vote, the Donald's presidential victory and maybe, just maybe, the year that Acer's bottom line recovery started in earnest. OK, the last one is a long shot.

The Taiwanese notebook business has reported calendar Q3 results, and while the top line continued to slide on the prior period a year ago, the P&L accounts remained in the black for the third straight quarter.

Consolidated revenues reached NT$58.59bn (£1.45bn/$1.89bn), up 4.3 per cent on the prior quarter but down on the NT$67.24bn reported a year ago – this is because the lion's share of Acer's business is in PCs.

The overall PC market continued to shrink in the period, down 5.7 per cent, and Acer managed to decline by 14.1 per cent, putting way it behind the likes of Asus, Dell, HP Inc and Lenovo.

But helped by a double digit drop in expenses "due to effective cost control", operating profit came in at NT$471m (£11.7m/$14.75m) compared to an operating loss of NT$704m in Q3 2015.

Net profit was NT$249m (£6.2m/$7.9m), up 30.3 per cent year-on-year, which is way, way less than any of its peers would get out of bed for, but represents progress of sorts.

For the nine months of 2016 ending September, sales slipped 12.4 per cent year-on-year to NT$171bn (£4.25bn/$5.35bn) and profit crossed the line at NT$833m (£20.7m/$26m) – a first in six years.

"The results show that Acer has remained profitable during the course of its transition," the company said in a statement.

The turnaround plan was actually first hatched in late 2010 when consumer demand for low-cost notebooks evaporated, but successive CEOs were unable to make the plan a reality.

Acer said that in addition to "developing meaningful innovations" – they must be well hidden in the portfolio – it continues to move beyond the PC.

"Acer continues to explore and expand its business boundaries, with new initiatives in virtual reality, and those that are bringing the benefits of technology into the senior care, pet care and sports industries".

El Reg isn't convinced Acer's future lies in these sector, but hey, we're just journalists. ®

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