ARM pumps fist as profits soar, warns of weaker hand in 2016

It had a bumper year, but expect losses for this one

Chip designer ARM once again posted bumper annual results, with profits up 31 per cent to £414.8m on revenue of £968m, up 22 per cent.

During the year the company shifted 14.8 billion ARM-based chips, up 16 per cent on 2014.

But the company warned that increased economic uncertainty during 2016 "may influence consumer and enterprise spending, potentially impacting semiconductor revenues and industry confidence."

Richard Holway, analyst at TechMarketView, noted that despite ARM's bumper results its share price price still suffered due to Apple expecting a slowdown in iPhone sales.

He said: "ARM had anticipated the much-written-about slowdown in smartphone sales; 55 per cent of sales are now for non-mobile usage," he said.

The company is keen to ramp up its non-smartphone licences, given the reliance of its share price on the fortunes of the fruity firm. Of the 51 new licences signed in the fourth quarter, 25 were for use in other connected devices such as medical equipment and smart sensors.

Simon Segars, chief executive officer, said: "Demand for our technology is increasing, and during the [fourth] quarter we signed multiple licences for the next generation of high-performance and secure ARM processors."

ARM's rival Imagination Technologies warned earlier this week it would making an annual loss this year. Last week its long-serving chief exec stepped down after 18 years in the role. In December the company reported pre-tax loss for the half year of £22.6m, from £10.7m last year, while revenues fell from £82.2m to £71.1m.®

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