Strong ARM elbows out competition

Embedded chip manufacturer is a bright spot in a gloomy market

Embedded chip designer ARM Holdings (quote: ARM) showed Intel and AMD a thing or two Wednesday, reporting strong earnings for its full year, unlike most high-tech companies at the moment.

ARM designs intellectual property for the embedded RISC processors in mobile phones and other portable devices that require low power consumption -- a market that has been booming with the uptake of mobile phones and handheld computers.

The company said revenues for the year were up 62 percent to £100.7m, from £62.1m in 1999. Pre-tax profits for the year were up 97 percent to £35.4m, and unit shipments more than doubled from 182 million units in 1999 to more than 400 million units in 2000.

"The year finished strongly and the momentum behind our business remains encouraging," said ARM chairman and chief executive Robin Saxby in a statement. He said ARM's share of the embedded RISC processor market skyrocketed in the past year, even as the market for handheld devices grew. ARM now controls 77 percent of the market, up from 58 percent.

ARM shares ended the day Wednesday up 6 percent or 30 points at 527.03p.

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