ARM Holdings sales jump 17% ahead of Softbank takeover

ARM's technology can be found in around 95% of the world's smartphones

Ben Chapman
Wednesday 27 July 2016 12:08 BST
The foreign takeover of ARM, the UK's leading tech firm has sparked controversy
The foreign takeover of ARM, the UK's leading tech firm has sparked controversy

ARM Holdings, the UK designer of computer chips for tablets and smartphones, announced a 17 per cent jump in sales ahead of a takeover by Japan’s Softbank, which is expected to complete by October.

The Cambridge-based company announced revenue of £267.6 million up from £228.5 million pounds a year ago, but missing the £276.3 million consensus.

Profit rose to £90 million, up 17 per cent from a year earlier, but also shy of analyst estimates. ARM raised its interim dividend by 20 per cent.

ARM-designed microprocessors can be found in 95 per cent of the world’s smartphones. The company generates the majority of its income comes from licenses and royalty payments from companies such as Apple and Samsung which use its designs.

Simon Segars, chief executive officer, said: “Our royalty revenue growth continues to outperform the wider semiconductor industry, driven by market share gains and the increasing adoption of ARM’s latest technologies. With more end-users selecting ARM technology for products ranging from sensors to satellites to supercomputers, we expect this outperformance will continue.”

Segars also said ARM had enhanced its expertise in the growing markets od advanced robotics and self-driving cars.

SoftBank, which announced in mid-July that it would buy ARM for £24 billion, is banking on the fact that the company’s chips will be used in an increasing array of connected devices, from dishwashers to shipping containers as the Internet of Things takes off.

The foreign takeover of what is seen as the UK's leading technology company has sparked controversy.

David Reader, a senior research associate at the Centre for Competition Policy and UEA Law School, highlighted contradictions in the deal.

“Barely a week after setting out her plans for an industrial policy that would allow the UK to oppose foreign takeovers in strategically important sectors, Theresa May's new-look government has given its backing to a £24bn bid by Japanese firm SoftBank for UK chip-maker ARM,“ he said.

Theresa May announced she had personally phoned Softbank's chief executive to congratulate him on the deal.

Shares in ARM have rallied since the bid was announced, and were 63 per cent higher over the month, at £16.75 on Wednesday morning.

The company signed 25 new licensing agreements for its processors in the quarter.

In total, 3.6 billion ARM-based chips were shipped in the quarter, up 9 per cent on the same period last year.

The company said it would not provide forward guidance on full-year earnings expectations because of the takeover currently underway.

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