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Asus reports profit drop for 2017 on Chinese competition

Taiwanese computer maker also took a hit from high memory prices

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Asustek Computer, known as Asus, said Friday that group net profit for the year ended in December fell 19% to 15.5 billion New Taiwan dollars ($528 million).

Intensifying competition from Chinese rivals and surging parts prices dealt a blow to the company's earnings, Chief Financial Officer Nick Wu said during an earnings briefing here.

Sales declined 8% to NT$392.8 billion. Personal computers with beefed up image-processing capability for better video game playing saw sales soar 20%. But Asus also faced weaker sales of its ZenFone-brand smartphones.

The price of NAND memory chips and other parts rose sharply in the year, but the company was unable to pass the higher costs on to product prices. As a result, operating profit plunged 28% to NT$12.5 billion.

The Taipei-based company intends to turn the tide this year by releasing new smartphones in April, earlier than usual, and taking other steps.

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