Arm Holdings beats market forecasts

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ARM Holdings, the British chip designer whose technology powers Apple’s iPhone and iPad, today said it was confident it would continue to gain market share.

The company has beaten forecasts for the fourth quarter.

The Cambridge-based company, which designs the low-energy processors found in nearly all mobile phones, tablets and a host of other devices, reported a 45 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £69m ($108 million) on revenue up 21 per cent to £137.8m.

The group counts royalties a quarter in arrears so its fourth-quarters numbers do not fully capture last year’s holiday season demand, including Apple’s sales.

Chief executive Warren East said Arm had seen strong licensing growth in 2011 as more new customers chose Arm technology for the first time, and the market share gains looked set to continue in 2012 as its partners introduced new chips.

“We have also seen our royalty revenue continue to grow faster than industry revenues as the ARM Partnership gains share in our target markets,” he said.

He said given Arm’s very strong license revenues in fourth quarter, he expected group dollar revenues for the first quarter to be in-line with current market expectations of around $200m.

ARM’s processor designs are licensed to chipmaker such as Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and Nvidia , and in return it receives a royalty for every chip shipped.

Analysts were expecting fourth-quarter pre-tax profit of £55.8m on revenue of £123.6m, according to a company-supplied poll of 30 analysts.

Yorkshire-based staff from Arm Holdings are designing microchips that will power the consumer devices of the future.

The 60-strong team at the company’s Sheffield office are also helping Arm to move into the server market, which places it in direct competition with big industry names like Intel.