ARM rides smartphone wave

Steve Dinneen
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Chip designer ARM Holdings rode the crest of the smartphone boom to smash analyst forecasts with a 35 per cent rise in first quarter profits.

The Cambridge-based company, whose designs are in Apple’s iPad and iPhone, also said it will meet its full-year targets in spite of the Japanese earthquake’s impact on the supply-chain.

Its pre-tax profits hit £51m on revenues up 26 per cent at £116m.

The firm said it has signed a string of licencing deals with manufacturers including LG and Broadcom that will drive future growth.

In the quarter 1.15bn ARM-processor based chips were shipped into mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, with the smartphone market expected to continue its ballooning growth for years to come.

ARM, whose designs are used by chip makers such as Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, reports royalties a quarter in arrears, so the impact of the earthquake will not be fully apparent until its third quarter.

ARM shares rocketed this month after Microsoft unveiled its latest round of software running on its processors. It showcased the new version of its Internet Explorer browser running on an ARM chip.