CAMBRIDGE, UK, 31 January 2012— ARM Holdings plc announces its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended 31 December 2011.
Progress on key growth drivers in Q4
- Growth in adoption of ARM® processor technology
- 25 processor licenses signed, including the first lead licenses for processors based on the new ARMv8-A architecture
- 9 Cortex™-A and 8 Cortex-M family processor licenses signed
- Many of the advanced processor licenses signed with companies developing smarter consumer electronics technology such as digital TVs, mobile computers and smartphones
- Growth in shipments of chips based on ARM-processor technology
- 1.2 billion chips shipped into mobile phones and mobile computers, up 10% year-on-year
- 1.0 billion chips shipped into consumer and embedded digital devices, up 40% year-on-year
- Growth in outsourcing of new technology
- Physical IP: 20nm royalty-bearing platform signed with major foundry and 3 Processor Optimisation Pack (POP) licenses signed for Cortex-A series processors
- Mali™ Graphics: 5 Mali licenses signed for digital TV, mobile computing and smartphones
Warren East, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"In Q4 and throughout 2011 ARM has seen strong licensing growth, driven by market-leading semiconductor companies increasing their commitment to ARM technology, and more new customers choosing ARM technology for the first time. We have also seen our royalty revenue continue to grow faster than industry revenues as the ARM Partnership gains share in our target markets.
2012 will bring exciting opportunities and challenges as ARM enters competitive new markets where we are well positioned to succeed with leading technology, an innovative business model and a thriving ecosystem of Partners. As our customers are designing more ARM technology into their widening product portfolios, ARM is investing in the development of new products. These products will drive further long-term growth in our revenues, profits and cash."
ARM enters 2012 with a robust opportunity pipeline for licensing and a record order backlog, helped by new product introductions and new markets. In addition, market share gains in long-term growth sectors look set to continue as our Partners introduce new chips based on ARM technology. Given industry analysts are forecasting that semiconductor revenues declined about 10% sequentially in Q4 and given ARM’s very strong license revenues in Q4, we expect group dollar revenues for the first quarter to be in-line with current market expectations of around $200 million.
For full-year 2012, the global macro-economic situation remains uncertain and is likely to influence consumer and enterprise spending, thereby potentially impacting semiconductor revenues and industry confidence. Assuming the macroeconomic situation does not deteriorate significantly, we expect group dollar revenues for the full-year to be at least in line with current market expectations of just over $860 million.
1 Includes catch-up PIPD royalties of $2.2m (£1.4m) in Q4 2011 and $0.4m (£0.2m) in Q4 2010.
1 Includes catch-up PIPD royalties $4.5m (£2.8m) in FY 2011 and $1.8m (£1.1m) in FY 2010.
* 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 8.1 to 8.16.
** 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 charges, and deducting inflows from share option exercises– see notes 8.8 to 8.12.
*** 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.
Financial review (IFRS unless otherwise stated)
Total revenues in Q4 2011 were $217.0 million, up 21% on Q4 2010. Q4 sterling revenues were £137.8 million, up 21% year-on-year.
Full-year total revenues were $785.0 million, up 24% on 2010.
Total dollar license revenues in Q4 2011 increased by 21% year-on-year to $78.9m, representing 36% of group revenues.
License revenues comprised $67.5 million from PD and $11.4 million from PIPD.
During Q4, additional partners entered into long-term commitments to use ARM technology where the revenue associated with these agreements goes into backlog and will be recognised in future quarters as engineering and delivery milestones are achieved. These agreements included the signing of a subscription license by LSI Corporation for access to a broad range of processors, and three lead licenses for processors based on our recently announced ARMv8-A technology. As a result, group backlog at the end of the quarter was up more than 20% sequentially, and up about 35% year-on-year, to a record high.
Full-year dollar license revenues were $285.7 million, up 37% on 2010.
Royalties are recognised one quarter in arrears with royalties reported in Q4 generated from semiconductor unit shipments in Q3. Total dollar royalty revenues in Q4 2011 increased 22% to $114.7 million, representing 53% of group revenues.
Royalty revenues comprised $100.4 million for PD and $14.3 million for PIPD.
PIPD royalties of $14.3 million include $2.2 million of “catch-up” royalties. Underlying royalties for PIPD were up 4% year-on-year to a record high.
Full-year dollar royalty revenues were $405.6 million, up 21% on 2010. This compares with industry revenues increasing by about 8% in the relevant shipment period (i.e. Q3 2010 to Q3 2011), demonstrating ARM’s continuing market share gains over the last 12 months. Royalty revenues now represent 52% of ARM total revenues, having grown from less than 40% in 2005. It is expected that royalty revenues will become a greater proportion of Group revenues in the future.
Development Systems and Service revenues
Sales of development systems were $12.7 million in Q4 2011, up 9% on Q4 2010 and representing 6% of group revenues. Service revenues were $10.7 million in Q4 2011, up 24% and representing 5% of group revenues.
Full-year development systems revenues were $52.4 million, down 5% year-on-year. Full-year service revenues were $41.3 million, up 27% on 2010.
The decline in development systems revenues is largely due to the growth of Linux-based operating systems, which are supported by free software development tools. ARM is now refocusing this business on microcontroller tools and premium toolkits for multi-core systems. Due to this transition process, we expect that revenues for development systems in 2012 will be broadly flat year-on-year.
Gross margin in Q4 2011, excluding share-based payment costs of £1.0 million (see below), was 96.0%, compared to 94.9% in Q4 2010.
Full-year gross margin, excluding share-based payment costs of £3.5 million, was 95.1% compared to 94.3% in 2010. The higher gross margin in 2011 compared to 2010 is due primarily to the higher proportion of royalty and licensing revenue compared to development systems and services revenues.
Operating expenses and operating margin
Normalised Q4 and full-year income statements for 2011 and 2010 are included in notes 8.13 to 8.16 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 Q4 2011 were £65.8 million compared to £60.5 million in Q3 2011 and £61.2 million in Q4 2010. The increase in operating expenses in the fourth quarter is due primarily to the impact of investing in our research and development teams through 2011 and the net increase arising from higher incentive payments in Q4 offset by a net credit arising on the accounting for derivative instruments. There was also a net credit on the accounting for derivative instruments in Q3 2011.
Normalised operating expenses in Q1 2012 (assuming effective exchange rates similar to current levels) are expected to be £64-66 million.
Normalised operating margin in Q4 2011 was 48.2%. Normalised operating margin in Q3 2011 and Q4 2010 was 44.6% and 41.1% respectively. Normalised operating margin in the full-year 2011 was 45.1% compared to 40.4% in 2010.
Normalised research and development expenses were £31.4 million in Q4 2011, representing 23% of revenues, compared to £29.8 million in Q3 2011 and £29.6 million in Q4 2010. Normalised sales and marketing costs were £17.3 million in Q4 2011, representing 13% of revenues, compared to £15.6 million in Q3 2011 and £15.9 million in Q4 2010. Normalised general and administrative expenses were £17.1 million in Q4 2011, representing 12% of revenues, compared to £15.1 million in Q3 2011 and £15.7 million in Q4 2010.
Total IFRS operating expenses in Q4 2011 were £84.1 million (Q4 2010: £73.1 million) including £13.2 million (Q4 2010: £9.9 million) in relation to share-based payments and related payroll taxes, and £5.2 million (Q4 2010: £2.0 million) in relation to amortisation of intangible assets, other acquisition-related charges, disposal and impairment of investments and restructuring charges. Total share-based payments and related payroll tax charges of £14.2 million in Q4 2011 were included within cost of revenues (£1.0 million), research and development (£8.5 million), sales and marketing (£2.7 million) and general and administrative (£2.0 million).
Total IFRS operating expenses for full-year 2011 were £315.2 million (2010: £273.6 million), including share-based payments and related payroll taxes of £54.2 million (2010: £39.1 million), amortisation of intangible assets, other acquisition charges, disposal and impairment of investments and restructuring charges of £8.2 million (2010: £11.0 million), and Linaro™-related charges of £6.9 million (2010: £4.5 million). Excluding these charges, operating expenses for the full year were £245.9 million, compared to £219.0 million in 2010.
Earnings and taxation
Profit before tax was £49.7 million in Q4 2011 compared to £34.9 million in Q4 2010. After adjusting for acquisition-related, share-based payments, and disposal and impairment of investments, normalised profit before tax was £69.0 million in Q4 2011 compared to £47.6 million in Q4 2010. The Group’s effective normalised tax rate in Q4 2011 was 26% (IFRS: 33%) giving a full year normalised tax rate of 25% (IFRS: 28%).
In Q4 2011, fully diluted earnings per share prepared under IFRS were 2.40 pence (11.19 cents per ADS) compared to earnings per share of 2.19 pence (10.28 cents per ADS) in Q4 2010. Normalised fully diluted earnings per share in Q4 2011 were 3.71 pence per share (17.28 cents per ADS) compared to 2.90 pence per share (13.61 cents per ADS) in Q4 2010.
Full-year 2011 fully diluted earnings per share prepared under IFRS were 8.19 pence compared to earnings per share of 6.36 pence in 2010. Normalised fully diluted earnings per share for 2011 were 12.45 pence per share compared to 9.34 pence per share in 2010.
Intangible assets at 31 December 2011 were £554.9 million, comprising goodwill of £542.5 million and other intangible assets of £12.4 million, compared to £532.3 million and £12.1 million respectively at 31 December 2010. The regular review of the carrying value of assets arising on acquisition was performed during Q4 2011 and it was concluded that no impairment was required.
Total accounts receivable were £119.6 million at 31 December 2011, comprising £114.7 million of trade receivables and £4.9 million of amounts recoverable on contracts, compared to £105.7 million at 31 December 2010, comprising £97.0 million of trade receivables and £8.7 million of amounts recoverable on contracts.
Days sales outstanding (DSOs) were 46 at 31 December 2011 compared to 40 at 30 September 2011 and 41 at 31 December 2010.
Cash flow and dividend
Total cash (see note 8.6) at 31 December 2011 was £424.0 million compared to £397.2 million at 30 September 2011 and £290.1 million at 31 December 2010. Normalised cash generation in Q4 2011 was £51.5 million.
The directors recommend payment of a final dividend in respect of 2011 of 2.09 pence per share, up 20%, which taken together with the interim dividend of 1.39 pence per share paid in October 2011, gives a total dividend in respect of 2011 of 3.48 pence per share, an increase of 20% on the total dividend of 2.90 pence per share in 2010. Subject to shareholder approval, the final dividend will be paid on 18 May 2012 to shareholders on the register on 4 May 2012.
Twenty-five processor licenses were signed in Q4 across a broad range of end markets for use in the simplest of microcontrollers to the most advanced mobile computers. These included: wireless connectivity for Bluetooth and NFC; applications processors for smarter consumer electronic devices such as digital TVs, mobile computers and smartphones; and deeply embedded digital electronics for microcontrollers and smartcards.
One of the licenses was a subscription license signed with LSI Corporation giving them access to a broad range of ARM technology. This agreement expands LSI’s long-term strategic relationship with ARM and will enable LSI to develop new networking and cloud computing solutions.
All of the licenses signed in Q4 were for ARM’s advanced Cortex and Mali graphics processors. ARM signed licenses for nine Cortex-A family processors, including two agreements with lead Partners for ARM’s next generation of processors based on the ARMv8-A architecture which includes support for 64-bit. There were another eight Cortex-M family licenses taking the total signed to date to 131. ARM signed five licenses for Mali graphics processors for use in digital TV, mobile computing and smartphones, including one for the latest Mali-T658. Two semiconductor companies bought their first Mali licenses, bringing the number of companies using Mali graphics technology to forty-five.
Q4 2011 and Cumulative Processor Licensing Analysis
* Includes two lead Partners for the ARMv8-A architecture
** Includes two existing ARM customers each taking their first Mali license
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:
- NVIDIA, Qualcomm and TI demonstrating the latest prototypes of tablets and laptops running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating systems.
- Marvell’s ARM-based chips being designed into the next generation of Google TVs.
- Several ARM partners announcing new elements to their microcontroller (MCU) strategies taking the number of ARM based microcontroller devices to over 1000:
- Infineon introduced their first ARM based microcontroller with the XMC family based around Cortex-M4;
- Fujitsu added another 54 ARM processor-based microcontrollers to their FM3 family, focusing mainly on high-performance applications;
- NXP announced the LPC4300 as “the fastest ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller available today” and the LPC11 microcontroller which integrates USB class drivers alongside a Cortex-M0 processor;
- ST announced the STM32 F4 microcontroller family as “the world’s highest performing ARM Cortex-M microcontroller”.
- TI announcing a new series of ARM9 processor-based systems for developing both Smart Grid and smart meter solutions.
- Samsung and LG both announcing new smart TV families based on ARM processors and Mali graphics processors.
- SiXiTS announced the release of Eon Sky on Android which is a tangible demonstration of how Mali GPUs can deliver high-end, console-quality graphics and game-play and is based on the Unity3D game engine.
Many more partner announcements can be found on the ARM website at www.arm.com/news.
Royalties are recognised one quarter in arrears with royalties reported in Q4 generated from semiconductor unit shipments in Q3.
Q4 revenue came from the sales of about 2.2 billion ARM technology-based chips, the highest-ever number of ARM-processor based shipments.
ARM gained share in non-mobile end-markets throughout 2011. Shipments of ARM-processor based microcontrollers and smartcards grew about 80% year-on-year, compared to 5% for the overall microcontroller market. The embedded market now represents 25% of all ARM-based processor unit shipments, up from 19% in Q4 2010.
The Cortex processor family represents 23% of all units shipped, up from 13% 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 and mobile computers adopting smarter applications processors.
The average royalty per chip in Q4 2011 was slightly up at 4.5 cents as the strong growth in high-volume low-cost chips, such as microcontrollers, smartcards and wireless connectivity chips was balanced against the growth in Cortex-A processor-based chips, which typically command higher average royalty percentages and are normally associated with higher value chips.
The growth in mobile computing and high-end smartphones continues to benefit ARM, with shipments of Cortex-A processor-based wireless and mobile computing chips more than doubling compared to the same quarter last year. For the quarter, ARM achieved an average of 2.5 ARM technology-based chips per mobile handset, up from 2.4 chips per device in Q3 2011. In Q4 2011, ARM’s partners reported a 75% increase in integrated WiFi and Bluetooth chip shipments compared with the same quarter last year. Chips that integrate multiple functions into a single chip often contain several ARM processors. Typically, ARM receives a higher percentage of the chip price when there is more ARM technology integrated into the chip. The benefit arising from the combination of more integrated chips and more Cortex-A family based chips can be seen as, although the number of ARM processor-based chips in mobile devices grew by 10% in Q4 2011 compared with Q4 2010, the value from these chips grew 20%.
Q4 2011 Processor Unit Shipment Analysis
In Q4, ARM signed a physical IP license with a leading foundry customer for a new 20nm royalty-bearing platform. This platform will target a wide range of applications including high-end smartphones, mobile computers and the next generation of smart digital TVs. This is the third leading-edge foundry customer to take a 22/20nm platform license and shows the increasing importance of ARM’s physical IP in building the next generation of high performance chips. Cumulatively, 91 physical IP platform licenses have now been signed and it is this base of platform licenses that drives ARM’s future royalty potential.
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 at advanced nodes, with a further semiconductor partner choosing to use ARM’s advanced physical IP at 28nm. As our partners transition from older process technology to more advanced nodes so this progression helps to drive ARM’s future royalty revenue.
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 licenses for Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 POPs at 28nm, 32nm and 40nm nodes, for use in high-end application processors in digital TVs, game consoles and mobile computing.
Q4 2011 and Cumulative PIPD Licensing Analysis
| ||Process Node Total (nm) ||Total |
|New Royalty-Bearing Foundry Platform License || 20 ||1 |
| || Total for Quarter || |
| Processor Optimisation Packs || 3 ||26 |
Following a review of the physical IP platform licenses we are restating the number of royalty-bearing physical IP platforms. These changes align the reporting of physical IP platforms with processor licenses. The two major changes are:
- Removal of platforms that are no longer expected to generate royalties.
- Inclusion of royalty-bearing platforms that were previously excluded as to date they have generated only a small amount of royalty revenue.
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 Q4 generated from semiconductor unit shipments in Q3.
Underlying PIPD royalties in Q4 2011 were $12.1 million, up 4% sequentially to a record high, compared to foundry revenues which declined 4% in the relevant period. Royalty revenue from physical IP at advanced nodes, at 65nm and beyond, continues to increase and now accounts for approximately 45% of royalty revenues. This included the first physical IP royalty revenue from 32nm wafer shipments.
At 31 December 2011, ARM had 2,116 full-time employees, a net increase of 227 since the start of the year, with 80% being engineers joining ARM’s R&D teams. At the end of Q4, the group had 870 employees based in the UK, 555 in the US, 246 in Continental Europe, 306 in India and 139 in the Asia Pacific region.
Given the broad range of opportunities for growth, ARM is investing in its R&D programs and operations, and expects some further recruitment in 2012.
Principal risks and uncertainties
The principal risks and opportunities faced by the Group are included within the “Risks and risk management” section of the 2010 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 2010 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 Q4 2011 Earnings Tables (116KB PDF)
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.