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ARM Holdings plc Reports Results For The First Quarter 2012

24 April 2012

A conference call discussing these results will be audiocast today at 08:30 BST at www.arm.com/ir

CAMBRIDGE, UK, 24 April 2012 —ARM Holdings plc announces its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended 31 March 2012

Q1 2012 – Financial Summary  Normalised* IFRS 
Q1 2012  Q1 2011  % Change  Q1 2012  Q1 2011 
Revenue ($m) 209.4  185.5  13%  209.4  185.5 
Revenue (£m)  132.5  116.0  14%  132.5  116.0 
Operating margin  44.5%  42.5%    36.5%  25.0% 
Profit before tax (£m)  61.9  50.7  22%  51.3  30.4 
Earnings per share (pence)  3.36  2.73  23%  2.71  1.57 
Net cash generation**  58.3  62.9       
Effective revenue fx rate ($/£) 1.58  1.60 

Progress on key growth drivers in Q1

  • Growth in adoption of ARM® processor technology
    • 22 processor licenses signed across all target end markets
    • 8 Cortex™-A licenses signed, including licenses for Atlas and Cortex-A15 for use in servers
    • 10 Cortex-M class licenses, including a further license for ARM’s smallest and lowest power Cortex-M0+ processor for use in next generation Internet of Things devices
  • Growth in shipments of chips based on ARM processor technology
    • 1.1 billion chips shipped into mobile phones and mobile computers, similar to a year ago
    • 0.8 billion chips shipped into consumer and embedded digital devices, up 15% year-on-year
  • Growth in outsourcing of new technology
    • Physical IP: 3 Processor Optimization Pack licenses signed for Cortex-A family processors, further increasing the royalty opportunity from high-value chips in mobile computers, smartphones and automotive infotainment
    • Graphics: 2 licenses signed for Mali™, taking advanced 3D graphics into low-cost smartphones

Warren East, Chief Executive Officer, said:

"As many aspects of our lives become digital, we continue to see an increase in the demand for ARM’s smarter and lower power technology, which is driving both our licensing and royalty revenues.

In the first quarter of 2012 we saw continuing demand for technology licenses driven by a remarkable variety of end markets from highly efficient servers to energy-sipping sensors.  ARM’s royalty revenues continued to outperform the overall semiconductor industry as our customers launch their products into new markets and gain market share within existing markets.

With more customers choosing to deploy ARM technology in their products, this has been another quarter that underpins the long-term growth opportunity of the business.  This growth enables us to invest in future innovative technology as well as delivering increases in profit and cash flow.”

Outlook

Whilst Q1 industry shipments declined sequentially, most analysts expect the industry to recover in the second half.  In that context, ARM expects that group dollar revenues for the full-year 2012 will be in line with current market expectations.

Q1 2012 – Revenue Analysis

  Revenue ($m)***  Revenue (£m) 
  Q1 2012  Q1 2011  % Change  Q1 2012  Q1 2011 % Change
PD             

Licensing 

65.2  51.3 27% 41.1  32.3  27% 

 Royalties

92.9  87.9  6%  58.9  54.6  8% 
Total PD  158.1  139.2  14%  100.0  86.9  15% 
PIPD             

Licensing 

11.6  12.6  -8%  7.4  7.9  -6% 

 Royalties1

13.1  10.7  22%  8.3  6.6  26% 
Total PIPD  24.7  23.3  6%  15.7  14.5  8% 
Development Systems  15.5  13.3  17%  9.8  8.4  17% 
Services  11.1  9.7  14%  7.0  6.2  13% 
Total Revenue  209.4  185.5  13%  132.5  116.0  14% 
1 Includes catch-up royalties in Q1 2012 of $2.1m (£1.3m) and in Q1 2011 of $0.6m (£0.4m). 

* Normalised figures are based on IFRS, adjusted for acquisition-related charges, share-based payment costs, restructuring charges, profit or loss on disposal and impairment of available-for-sale investments and Linaro™-related charges. For reconciliation of IFRS measures to normalised non-IFRS measures detailed in this document, see notes 5.1 to 5.12.
** Net cash generation is defined as movement on cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term deposits, adding back dividend payments, investment and acquisition consideration, restructuring payments, other acquisition-related payments, share-based payroll taxes and Linaro-related payments, and deducting inflows from share option exercises and investment disposal proceeds – see notes 5.7 to 5.10.
*** Dollar revenues are based on the group’s actual dollar invoicing, where applicable, and using the rate of exchange applicable on the date of the transaction for invoicing in currencies other than dollars. Approximately 95% of invoicing is in dollars.

CONTACTS:

Sarah West/Anne Bark  Tim Score/Ian Thornton 
Brunswick  ARM Holdings plc 
+44 (0)207 404 5959  +44 (0)1628 427800 

Total revenues
Total dollar revenues in Q1 2012 were $209.4 million, up 13% on Q1 2011.  Q1 sterling revenues were £132.5 million, up 14% year-on-year.

License revenues
Total dollar license revenues in Q1 2012 increased by 20% year-on-year to $76.8m, representing 37% of group revenues.  License revenues comprised $65.2 million from PD and $11.6 million from PIPD.

During Q1, several Partners entered into commitments to use ARM technology where much of the revenue associated with these agreements will be recognised in future quarters.  After a contribution from backlog to the current quarters’ revenue, the net impact to group backlog at the end of the quarter was a slight decrease sequentially, and a 15% year-on-year increase.  Backlog remains at historically high-levels.

Royalty revenues
Royalties are recognised one quarter in arrears with royalties in Q1 2012 generated from semiconductor unit shipments in Q4 2011.  Total dollar royalty revenues in Q1 2012 increased by 8% year-on-year to $106.0 million, representing 51% of group revenues. This compares with industry revenues[1] decreasing by about 2% in the shipment period (i.e. Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010), demonstrating ARM’s continuing market share gains over the last 12 months.

Royalty revenues comprised $92.9 million from PD and $13.1 million from PIPD.  Total PIPD royalties of $13.1 million included $2.1 million of catch-up royalties.

ARM’s Q1 processor royalty revenue has been impacted by the slowdown of component sales within the hard disk drive (HDD) market during Q4.  HDD manufacturers in Thailand had their operations disrupted by flooding that started in October 2011.  The semiconductor supply chain in the region is rapidly recovering, and is expected to be fully operational by the middle of 2012.

Development Systems and Service revenues
Sales of development systems in Q1 were up 17% year-on-year to $15.5 million, representing 7% of group revenues.  Service revenues in Q1 2012 were up 14% year-on-year to $11.1 million, representing 5% of group revenues.

The increase in sales of development systems was primarily due to a large one-off deal with a major semiconductor company.  ARM is continuing to transition this business to focus on microcontroller tools and premium toolkits for multi-core systems.  Due to this transition, we expect that full year revenues for development systems will be broadly flat year-on-year.

Gross margins
Gross margins in Q1 2012, excluding the share-based payment costs of £0.5 million (see below), were 94.4% compared to 94.4% in Q1 2011.

Operating expenses and operating margin
Normalised income statements for Q1 2012 and Q1 2011 are included in notes 5.11 and 5.12 below which reconcile IFRS to the normalised non-IFRS measures referred to in this earnings release.

Normalised operating expenses (excluding acquisition-related, share-based payments, and disposal and impairment of investments) in Q1 2012 were £66.1 million compared to £65.8 million in Q4 2011 and £60.3 million in Q1 2011. The year-on-year increase in operating expenses in the first quarter is primarily due to the increased investment in our research and development teams over the last 12 months

Normalised operating expenses in Q2 2012 (assuming effective exchange rates similar to current levels) are expected to be £67-69 million.

Normalised operating margin in Q1 2012 was 44.5%. Normalised operating margin in Q4 2011 and Q1 2011 was 48.2% and 42.5% respectively.

Normalised research and development expenses were £32.3 million in Q1 2012, representing 24% of revenues, compared to £28.7 million in Q1 2011.  Normalised sales and marketing costs were £15.3 million in Q1 2012, being 12% of revenues, compared to £14.0 million in Q1 2011.  Normalised general and administrative expenses were £18.5 million in Q1 2012, representing 14% of revenues, compared to £17.6 million in Q1 2011

Total IFRS operating expenses in Q1 2012 were £76.2 million (Q1 2011: £79.8 million) including share-based payment costs and related payroll taxes of £9.3 million (Q1 2011: £18.7 million), and amortisation of intangible assets and other acquisition-related charges net of profit on disposal of investments of £0.8 million (Q1 2011: £0.8 million).

Total share-based payment costs and related payroll tax charges of £9.8 million in Q1 2012 were included within cost of revenues (£0.5 million), research and development (£5.9 million), sales and marketing (£1.8 million) and general and administrative (£1.6 million).

Earnings and taxation
Profit before tax was £51.3 million in Q1 2012 compared to £30.4 million in Q1 2011. After adjusting for acquisition-related and share-based payment costs, and disposal and impairment of investments, normalised profit before tax was £61.9 million in Q1 2012 compared to £50.7 million in Q1 2011.  The group’s effective normalised tax rate was 25.0% (IFRS 27.0%) in Q1 2012 compared to 26.5% (IFRS 29.3%) in Q1 2011.

In Q1 2012, fully diluted earnings per share prepared under IFRS were 2.71 pence (13.00 cents per ADS[1]) compared to earnings per share of 1.57 pence (7.57 cents per ADS) in Q1 2011. Normalised fully diluted earnings per share in Q1 2012 were 3.36 pence per share (16.12 cents per ADS) compared to 2.73 pence per share (13.12 cents per ADS) in Q1 2011.    [1] Each American Depositary Share (ADS) represents three shares.

Balance sheet 
Intangible assets at 31 March 2012 were £540.8 million, comprising goodwill of £528.2 million and other intangible assets of £12.6 million, compared to £542.5 million and £12.5 million respectively at 31 December 2011.

Total accounts receivable were £92.8 million at 31 March 2012, comprising £89.9 million of trade receivables and £2.9 million of amounts recoverable on contracts, compared to £119.6 million at 31 December 2011, comprising £114.7 million of trade receivables and £4.9 million of amounts recoverable on contracts.

Days sales outstanding (DSOs) were 38 at 31 March 2012 compared to 46 at 31 December 2011.

Cash flow
Normalised free cash flow in Q1 2012 was £58.3 million.   Total cash (see note 5.5) was £469.2 million at 31 March 2012 compared to £424.0 million at 31 December 2011.

Operating review

Processor licensing
Twenty-two processor licenses were signed in Q1 across a remarkable variety of applications. End-markets included microcontrollers for use in smart metering and the Internet of Things, application processors for mass market smartphones and digital TVs, and high performance processors for power efficient servers.

All of the licenses signed in Q1 were for ARM’s advanced Cortex and Mali graphics processors.  ARM’s customers signed licenses for eight Cortex-A family processors.  This included another lead licensee for Atlas† and a Cortex-A15 license, both for use in servers. There were ten Cortex-M family licenses, principally for use in embedded markets, such as microcontrollers, smartcards and automotive applications.  Two licenses for Mali graphics processors were signed for use in mobile and consumer electronics. Both of these licenses were with companies taking their first ever Mali licenses.

†Atlas is one of ARM’s next generation processors based on the ARMv8-A architecture, which includes support for 64-bit.

Q1 2012 and Cumulative Processor Licensing Analysis

  Existing Licensees  New Licensees  Quarter Total  Cumulative Total* 
ARM7™        171 
ARM9™        270 
ARM11™        79 
Cortex-A    104 
Cortex-R  26 
Cortex-M 7 3 10 141
Mali 2** 2 60
Other 20
Total 18 4 22 871

* Adjusted for licenses that are no longer expected to generate royalties
** The 2 Mali licenses were signed with ARM processor customers, who were both licensing their first Mali processor

Processor Design Wins and Ecosystem Development
Over the last few months many leading technology companies have announced details of their ARM-based product developments. These included:
  • ARM, Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient forming a joint venture to deliver next-generation Security for Services running on connected devices
  • NVIDIA, Qualcomm, TI and Microsoft creating development platforms for Windows on ARM
  • LSI expanding their strategic relationship with ARM and commitment to offer energy-efficient processors for high-end networking applications
  • MStar licensing ARM Cortex-A9 and Mali graphics processors for digital TV and mobile applications
  • Dialog Semiconductor choosing Cortex-M0 for use in its power management chips for smartphones
  • STMicroelectronics unveiling its newest Cortex M3-based wireless microcontroller for the next-generation smart grids and the most powerful ARM processor and Mali-graphics-based TV System-on-Chip for super smart TVs
  • Fujitsu releasing 210 new Cortex-M3-based microcontroller products, taking the total number of ARM-based products in its catalogue to 370 products. Fujitsu expects this to increase to 500 products by the end of 2012.

Many more partner announcements can be found on the ARM website at www.arm.com/news.

Processor royalties
Royalties are recognised one quarter in arrears with royalties reported in Q1 generated from semiconductor unit shipments in Q4.

Q1 revenue came from the sales of about 1.9 billion ARM technology-based chips.

The Cortex processor family represents 27% of all units shipped, up from 17% one year ago.  This increase is primarily due to shipments of Cortex-M family processor-based microcontrollers and smartcards, and an increase in Cortex-A family processor shipments driven by high-end smartphones, mobile computers and digital TVs adopting smarter applications processors. Shipments of Cortex-A class processors now represent 7% of all units shipped, up from 4% compared to the same quarter last year.

The growth in Cortex-A class processor shipments also helped increase the average royalty revenue per chip to 4.8 cents in Q1 2012, up from 4.5 cents in Q4 2011. Cortex-A processor-based chips typically command higher royalty percentages and are normally associated with higher value chips.  In addition, the industry saw a 16% decline sequentially in the number of microcontrollers sold.  This change in the mix of high-value Cortex-A processor-based chips and low-cost microcontrollers also contributed to the increase in the average royalty per chip. 

ARM typically receives higher average royalty percentage from chips that contain multiple ARM processors. For example, in Q1 2012, ARM customers reported a 35% increase in integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip shipments compared with the same quarter last year, and a 30 fold increase in the shipments of Mali graphics technology-based chips.

The benefit arising from the combination of more integrated chips and more Cortex-A family based chips is illustrated by the average royalty revenue received from chips in mobile devices increasing by 5%, whilst the average royalty revenue received from chips in home electronics increased by 15%.

Q1 2012 Processor Unit Shipment Analysis

Processor Family  Unit Shipments 
ARM7 38% 
ARM9  23% 
ARM11  12% 
Cortex-A  7% 
Cortex-R  2% 
Cortex-M 18%

Market  Unit Shipments
Mobile 57%
Enterprise 16%
Home 4%
Embedded 23%

PIPD licensing

ARM’s physical IP is used by fabless semiconductor companies to implement their chip designs. During the quarter, ARM continued to see strong demand from these companies to use physical IP, with a leading foundry customer for a new 130nm royalty-bearing platform and several updates and extensions to existing platforms spanning nodes from 130nm to 28nm.

ARM is also seeing increasing demand for our Processor Optimisation Packs (POPs), which comprise physical IP optimised for use with our advanced Cortex-A family processors.  POPs enable the licensee to reproduce a high-performance, low-power processor implementation using pre-built components.  During the quarter we signed three POP licenses, including the first POP license for Cortex-A7, for use in mobile and mobile computing application processors.  The other POPs were for Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A5 processors, demonstrating demand for physical IP across the full range of ARM’s applications processors.

Q1 2012 and Cumulative PIPD Licensing Analysis 

  Process Node  Total 
New Royalty Bearing Foundry Platform Licenses  130nm 

Total for Quarter Cumulative Total
Processor Optimisation Packs 3

Platform analysis (nm)  Royalty Bearing Foundry Platforms at Each Node 
22/20 
32/28 
45/40 
65  11 
90 
130 18 
180 to 250  37 
Total  92 

PIPD royalties
Physical IP royalties are generated mainly from chips manufactured in the world’s major semiconductor foundries.  Royalties are recognised one quarter in arrears with royalties reported in Q1 generated from semiconductor unit shipments in Q4.

Underlying PIPD royalties in Q1 2012 were $11.0 million, up 9% year-on-year, compared to foundry revenues which declined 3% in the relevant period.  Royalty revenue from physical IP at advanced nodes, at 45nm and beyond, continues to increase and now accounts for approximately one third of royalty revenues.

People
At 31 March 2012, ARM had 2,176 full-time employees, a net increase of 60 since the start of the year. At the end of March, the group had 892 employees based in the UK, 563 in the US, 258 in Continental Europe, 317 in India and 146 in the Asia Pacific region.

Principal risks and uncertainties
The principal risks and opportunities faced by the group are included within the “Risks and risk management” section of the 2011 Annual Report and Accounts filed with Companies House in the UK. Details of other risks and uncertainties faced by the group are noted within the Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2011 which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and is available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.  There have been no changes to these risks that would materially impact the group in the foreseeable future.  These include but are not limited to: ARM's quarterly results may fluctuate significantly and be unpredictable which could adversely affect the market price of ARM ordinary shares; general economic conditions may reduce ARM's revenues and harm its business; ARM may have to protect its intellectual property or defend ARM’s technology against claims that we have infringed others’ proprietary rights; an infringement claim against ARM’s technology may result in a significant damages award which would adversely impact ARM’s operating results; companies within the semiconductor industry may consolidate reducing the number of customers that ARM may sell its technology to; for ARM to enter new markets or develop new technology may require significant investment and may not result in profitable operations; and ARM competes in the intensely competitive semiconductor market.    

Download the ARM Holdings plc Q1 2012 Financial Results Tables (86K PDF)

Notes  
The results shown for Q1 2012, Q1 2011, and Q4 2011 are unaudited. The results shown for FY 2011 are audited. The condensed consolidated financial information contained in this announcement does not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006.
Statutory accounts of the Company in respect of the financial year ended 31 December 2011 were approved by the Board of directors on 27 February 2012 and delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The report of the auditors on those accounts was unqualified and did not contain an emphasis of matter paragraph nor any statement under Section 498 of the Companies Act 2006.  

The results for ARM for Q1 2012 and previous quarters as shown reflect the accounting policies as stated in Note 1 to the financial statements in the Annual Report and Accounts filed with Companies House in the UK for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2011 and in the Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2011.  

This document contains forward-looking statements as defined in section 102 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to risk factors associated with the semiconductor and intellectual property businesses. When used in this document, the words “anticipates”, “may”, “can”, “believes”, “expects”, “projects”, “intends”, “likely”, similar expressions and any other statements that are not historical facts, in each case as they relate to ARM, its management or its businesses and financial performance and condition are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. It is believed that the expectations reflected in these statements are reasonable, but they may be affected by a number of variables, many of which are beyond our control. These variables could cause actual results or trends to differ materially and include, but are not limited to: failure to realize the benefits of our recent acquisitions, unforeseen liabilities arising from our recent acquisitions, price fluctuations, actual demand, the availability of software and operating systems compatible with our intellectual property, the continued demand for products including ARM’s intellectual property, delays in the design process or delays in a customer’s project that uses ARM’s technology, the success of our semiconductor partners, loss of market and industry competition, exchange and currency fluctuations, any future strategic investments or acquisitions, rapid technological change, regulatory developments, ARM’s ability to negotiate, structure, monitor and enforce agreements for the determination and payment of royalties, actual or potential litigation, changes in tax laws, interest rates and access to capital markets, political, economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions and capital expenditure requirements.  

More information about potential factors that could affect ARM’s business and financial results is included in ARM’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2011 including (without limitation) under the captions, “Risk Factors”(on pages 4 to 11) which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and available at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.  

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.

ARM is a registered trademarks of ARM Limited. ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, Cortex and Mali are trademarks of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM” is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries: ARM Inc.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan Limited; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium Services BVBA; ARM Germany GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; ARM Norway AS; and ARM Sweden AB.