LONDON Wireless comms chip specialist CSR plc saw its revenues in the fourth quarter of last year increase to $232.5million from $173.3million in the corresponding period of 2006. For the whole year, sales were $848.6million, up 20 percent from $704.7 million during 2006.
Operating profit for 2007 was $150.1 million, almost exactly the same as in 2007; for the fourth quarter of 2007, operating profit was $47.4 million, compared with $31.8million in the corresponding quarter of 2006.
However, the company also gave a cautious forecast for prospects and missed analysts' estimates and saw its share price fall steeply in early trading Thursday (Feb. 28) on the London stock exchange.
CSR lost as much as 27 percent, the biggest slide since its initial public offering in February 2004.
Looking ahead, CSR CEO Joep van Beurden said the company expects "modest" revenue growth in the second half of 2008, following what is predicted to be broadly flat revenues for the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2007.
"We enter 2008 with strong market share, a leading position in all segments and a pipeline of innovative new products such as MusiCore that are on-track and exciting in their potential. We have previously acknowledged that there would be a loss of market share in one top tier phone OEM which would affect 2008.
"We have already taken steps to address this and expect to recover this share in 2009. In all our other
segments, we are confident of broadly maintaining market share during this year. We have also made good progress at another top tier phone OEM who we have not previously supplied," commented van Buerden.
"For the short-term, we are fully aware of the current economic climate and consumer sentiment. We are seeing a run-down in customer inventory levels,
particularly in China, and customer caution on their own sales outlook", he added.
In July, CSR had forecast revenue would grow 15 percent to 20 percent annually over the next five years.
The company also said finance director Paul Goodridge will step down from the board and would leave CSR on May 31. Will Gardiner, a director of finance at British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, will join as chief financial officer on July 1.
In a statement CSR (Cambridge, England) stressed that it has continued to increase penetration to other, non-cellular applications from its traditional strength for Bluetooth chips in mobile phones and headsets to non-cellular applications.
van Beurden commented: "As the percentage of mobile phones with Bluetooth is now surpassing 50 percent it makes sense to also use Bluetooth as a value centre on which to deliver additional functionality to improve the user experience. Some of these functions sit well with Bluetooth including GPS, FM and other wireless connectivity radios such as Ultra Low Power (ULP) Bluetooth or UWB."
CSR expects to be shipping a single-chip product by the end of 2008 that incorporates Bluetooth, GPS (including the radio), FM transmit and receive, and ULP Bluetooth. CSR is already shipping its BlueCore5-FM, single-chip Bluetooth with embedded FM radio, in volume and is securing CSR some significant design wins, including handsets from LG, Samsung and BenQ.
CSR's CEO also reiterated that the company's ambitions are to grow revenues to 2 billion by 2012.