Chip designer ARM Holdings delivered a confident outlook on Tuesday, hailing a "healthy pipeline of opportunities" after strong licensing results helped second-quarter profits beat expectations for the period.
The tech group, which makes processors for smartphones and tablets, said pre-tax profit in the six months to June 30th rose 9% year-on-year to £94.2m, ahead of the £91m estimated by analysts.
Revenues were also 9% higher at £187.1m, beating the £183m forecast, with total technology licensing sales up 36% at £89.6m, offsetting a 9% fall in royalty revenues to £80.3m.
"The 41 processor licences signed in the second quarter were driven by demand for ARM technology in smart mobile devices, consumer electronics and embedded computing chips for the Internet of Things, and include further licences for ARMv8-A and Mali processor technology," said Chief Executive Simon Segars.
"This bodes well for growth in ARM's medium- and long-term royalty revenues."
As for the weakness in royalties, Segars said that the performance was affected by seasonal trends and inventory management in parts of the electronics supply chain.
However, an "improving market environment" should see royalty revenues strengthening in the second half.
Looking ahead, the company said that market data indicates improving conditions in the semiconductor industry, "leading to the expectation of an acceleration in royalty revenue growth in the second half of 2014".
First half profit came in as expected at chemicals company Croda International, having fallen 6% to £125.1m year-on-year in a tough trading environment.
The figure, which compared to £133.1m a year earlier, reflected a 4.5% reduction in half year revenue from £562.7m to £537.4m, which were hit in part by the strength of sterling and the euro, which reduced reported sales by £38.3m and operating profit by £11.4m.
The numbers were behind its initial expectations, which it lowered in a June statement following weak consumer demand in Europe that hit Personal Care.
The biggest decline was seen in the Consumer Care business, which fell 6.7% to £291.8m, although returned to sales growth on a constant currency basis, up 0.8%.
Performance Technologies declined 1.6%, although was up 4.8% at constant currency, while Industrial Chemicals fell 2% but climbed 5.3% at constant currency.
The group said that despite the weak consumer demand in Europe, it saw strong underlying revenue growth from New and Protected Products, which led to improved margins in both its core divisions.
"Differentiated products also made progress, although demand for commodity products in the tail was much weaker," Chairman Martin Flower said.
"In addition, we have made good progress in a number of growth markets, especially Asia which achieved 8% underlying sales growth. We expect the new organisation structure to deliver sustained sales growth in future.
"Robust cash generation continues to underpin investment in R&D, new technologies and capacity and a number of new growth initiatives in health and skin actives will come on stream in the second half."
He also reiterated the group's previous guidance on full year pre-tax profit, saying it would be below the £251.4m delivered in 2013.
Numis Securities said the main issue for the company was its "lacklustre top line" but said the numbers contained "no fresh negatives".
The dividend for the period was 29.5p, up from the 29p offered this time last year.