ARM warns of a light Christmas

ARM Holdings, the Cambridge-based maker of chips that power the Apple iPhone and other smartphones, has reported a 25 per cent profit rise this quarter, but warned it is not counting on a Christmas sales boom.

The firm’s technology, used by firms such as Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, helped lift pre-tax profit to £54.2m, on the back of £117.8m revenue, which was 18 per cent up on last year.

ARM, led by chief executive Warren East, said it expected industry revenue in the second quarter to tick up quarter-on-quarter, but it kept forecasts for the year unchanged, indicating less confidence on sales ahead of the key Christmas period.

“There’s obviously a number of broad macro economic uncertainties that make us cautious as to whether the normal seasonal uptick you see at the end of the year, ahead of Christmas, is as significant as it had been in some other years,” finance director Tim Score said yesterday.

Shares see-sawed on the news, as the market initially welcomed the firm’s sales of 29 new licences in the quarter before adopting the firm’s worry over consumer spending.

At the close of trading they had fallen 3.3 per cent to 595.5p.

Score said the strong licence sales would drive future royalties, thanks to the versatility of ARM chips that are designed into products ranging from cars, air conditioners and running machines to smartphones and computers.