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Technology

UPDATE 1-Quanta sees sales up 25 pct in 2010 to $31 bln

* Turning focus to higher-end “cloud” computers

* Expects record profit in 2009, analysts see T$21.4 bln

* Sales T$792 bln in 2009

* Shares down 8 pct this yr; main board down 6 pct (Adds details, quotes, background)

TAIPEI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Quanta Computer 2382.TW, the world's largest contract PC maker, plans to lift revenues by over a quarter this year, backed by a switch in focus to higher-end computers, chairman Barry Lam said on Friday.

He said research and development initiatives were bearing fruit and the company, a key supplier to brands such as HP HPQ.N and Apple AAPL.O, was aiming for sales over T$1 trillion ($31 billion), up from T$791.8 billion in 2009.

“We did a lot of R&D work last year, and this year we are hoping that we will be able to develop actual products that we can sell to clients from the fourth quarter onwards,” Lam told reporters at a company function.

He also said Quanta’s profit hit a historical high in 2009 but gave no further details because the numbers were being verified by accountants.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S on average expect net profit of T$21.4 billion for full year 2009, compared with T$20.23 billion in 2008. The firm must report results by the end of April.

Lam said development centred on products based on cloud computing, which broadly refers to the practice of storing and running computer programs that are saved in remote servers.

The research will pay off from 2011, with the manufacturer focusing more on higher-end products rather than the increasingly commoditised laptop PCs it is best known for.

“We’re going high end now,” said Lam. “We’ve spent a lot of money on research and developing new products, and it’s something we’ll continue to do in the future.”

Quanta shares closed about 1 percent lower on Friday, lagging the benchmark TAIEX .TWII share index. Its shares are down about 8 percent so far this year, worse than the main board's 6.7 percent decline.

Quanta competes with smaller rival Compal 2324.TW, which overtook it last year as the biggest contract laptop PC maker by unit shipments. Quanta remains the biggest by revenue and market capitalisation.

Most top tech brands such as Dell DELL.O and Acer 2353.TW outsource manufacturing to Asian companies which have large plants in lower cost countries such as China and Vietnam. (Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by David Cowell)

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