Acer, the world\u2019s fourth-largest PC vendor, believes it can keep up the breakneck growth it\u2019s seen in the past few years, forecasting NT (New Taiwan) $400 billion (US$12.27 billion) in sales this year. Acer released the sales forecast late Wednesday, when it issued its full-year 2005 financial results. The Taiwanese company\u2019s sales last year rose 41 percent year-on-year to NT$318.1 billion, while its net profit rose 21 percent to NT$8.48 billion. It was a record year for Acer in terms of sales.The company wants to move up in global PC rankings and trump China\u2019s largest PC seller, Lenovo Group. Last year, Acer\u2019s PC shipments rose 58.1 percent over 2004, while Lenovo\u2019s grew only 16.4 percent, according to market researcher Gartner. The Chinese PC maker holds third place with a 6.9 percent share of the global market, compared to Acer\u2019s 4.6 percent.Acer has benefited from strong laptop sales, particularly in Europe, and has credited its close relationship with distributors as a key reason for its success in recent years. Its brisk growth rate last year left other PC vendors far behind. By comparison, Dell, the largest PC company, increased its shipments 18.6 percent last year, while Hewlett-Packard shipped 15.1 percent more PCs in 2005 than it did in 2004, according to Gartner.The company\u2019s financial forecast of NT$400 billion would mark 26 percent sales growth over last year, and would also be a record for Acer. A new push into the U.S. market and continued strength in laptop sales are expected to help the company hit its targets this year.A less friendly market could hold Acer back this year. PC shipments are expected to slow, up only 10.7 percent to 234.5 million units compared to the 15.5 percent increase in 2005, according to Gartner. Last year, 211.8 million PCs were shipped globally, the researcher said.In addition, cutthroat competition could cause price wars among PC vendors, which is great for users but would hurt Acer\u2019s chances to reach its goal."We expect the PC price war to intensify in the second quarter as Dell joins the battle, (and) we believe all (PC vendors), including Acer, will continue to suffer from declining average selling prices and margin erosion," said Henry King, executive director of Asia-Pacific research for Goldman Sachs in Taipei, in a Thursday report.-Dan Nystedt, IDG News ServiceCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.