* Says being impacted by customers’ structural changes
* Confirms tech in Samsung’s latest high-end chip
* Confident 500 million units will ship in current year
* Shares down 1.9 pct
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - British chip designer Imagination Technologies said volatile economic conditions were leading to delays in the signing of some licences with its semiconductor customers, particularly in Japan.
The company, whose graphics technology is likely to be in Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 smartphone, licenses its technology to semiconductor firms in exchange for a fee as well as royalties on sales.
“The licensing pipeline remains very active, although there are uncertainties over the timing of deal closures, particularly as some semiconductor companies in certain regions are undergoing structural and business changes,” it said in a trading update on Tuesday.
The company did not give details on the number of affected deals, or the likely delay.
Shares in Imagination Technologies, which have risen 34 percent since the start of 2013, were trading 1.9 percent lower at 520 pence at 0820 GMT.
The group said it expected continued strong growth in unit volumes, driven by new smartphones and tablets, as well as Internet-connected televisions from LG and Sony.
It also said its graphics technology was in Samsung’s high-end Exynos 5410 chip, the processor that industry watchers say will power the South Korean company’s flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone that launches on Thursday.
Imagination, which also counts Apple among its customers, said its royalty revenues remained in line with its expectations, and it was confident its partners would ship more than 500 million chips in the current financial year to end-April.