ARM's dip is better than most

Fabless tiddly chip shop, ARM reported its fourth quarter unaudited results and reckoned they weren't so bad when looking around at everyone else.

In what ARM called 'a challenging environment', fourth quarter sales were down down six per cent on 2008. Sterling revenue was posted at £85.2million, down ten per cent year-on-year while pre-tax profit was £20.1million - down from £23.2 million from Q4 2008.

ARM reckons the industry in general is looking at 15 per cent revenue drop for the quarter, year on year. In that context, the firm is quite happy with its lot.

"We are pleased that in Q4 ARM has continued to outperform the semiconductor industry as we gain market share," said CEO Warren East. "Throughout 2009 we demonstrated the resilience of the ARM business model in a challenging trading environment."

For the full year, revenue fell $489.5million, down ten per cent on 2008. Profit was £47.3million down from £63.2million in 2008.

"Reflecting generally anticipated improvements in the semiconductor industry, and given ARM's strong industry position coming into 2010, we expect group dollar revenues for the full-year to be at least in line with current market expectations," East said in a statement.

More than 1,3 billion ARM chips shipped in the last three months of 2009, the firm's highest ever total in a quarter.

ARM said it increased its market share in the consumer electronics and embedded sectors and signed up some significant deals with the likes of GlobalFoundries and Samsung.

"Leading semiconductor manufacturers are increasingly designing ARM technology into their products," East said.