Smartphones drive Imagination's profits

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Imagination technologies, which designs chips used in devices including the Apple iPhone, more than doubled its profits last year as smartphone sales continue to soar.

The British technology company, which competes with Arm, reported that operating profit had risen to £13.3m in the 12 months to the end of April, over £4.9m the previous year.

Its chief executive, Hossein Yassaie, said the growth had come from a "ramp of devices using our technologies", with 300 million shipping around the world, from smartphones and television set-top boxes to netbooks. Its technology business specialises in designing advanced graphics processors used in mobile devices.

Yet the group's share price retreated yesterday after the £80.9m revenues missed analysts' expectations.

Mr Yassaie added that while the state of the global economy remained a concern – especially with the threat of government policies on consumer spending – "we remain confident of our continued good progress in the current financial year".

Nick James, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: "The results adequately demonstrate Imagination's growth and future prospects, in which we maintain a high conviction."

Apple holds a 9 per cent stake in the group, and Intel owns 15 per cent.