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Business is brisk at British chip designer ARM where pre-tax profit and revenue ballooned during the company's third quarter, which ended on 30 September.

The Cambridge-based outfit reported that pre-tax profit was £55.8m, up 44 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. Sales grew 20 per cent to £120.2m.

Earnings per share climbed 47 per cent to 3.05 pence from 2.08 pence a year earlier.

“In the third quarter of 2011, we saw a continued high level of design activity with many new customers licensing ARM technology for the first time, driven by end market requirements for smarter, low-power chips," said ARM head Warren East.

He added that the company had seen strong growth in shipments of chips using ARM technology.

The firm recorded a 50 per cent increase of shipments into non-mobile markets such as digital TVs and networking applications, noted East.

ARM's processor architecture is loaded into Apple's iPad and Cupertino's iPhone 4S.

The CEO admitted that "royalty revenues in Q3 have been impacted by the below seasonal growth in the semiconductor industry", but said that ARM "continues to gain share".

ARM expects a strong final quarter based on "a healthy opportunity pipeline for licensing" and a high order backlog, said East. ®

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