* 1st-qtr revenue falls to 119 mln stg from 122 mln stg
* Performance materials business revenue falls marginally to
73 mln stg
* Wireless systems business revenue falls slightly to 47 mln
* Shares fall 3 pct
By Abhirup Roy
May 3 Electronic-components maker Laird Plc
said revenue from its largest customer -- widely assumed
to be Apple Inc -- fell 17 percent in the first quarter
from a year earlier, contributing to a 2 percent fall in overall
Laird, which makes electromagnetic shielding and heat
control components for wireless devices, said it expected
another quarter of declining revenue before growth resumes in
the second half of the year as customers and the company itself
launch new products. It maintained its full-year forecast.
Total revenue fell to 119 million pounds ($184.59 million)
for the quarter ended March 31 from 122 million pounds a year
earlier, the company said in an interim management statement.
A company representative declined to identify the largest
customer, but analysts said Laird has confirmed in the past that
it is Apple and that they assumed the company was referring to
the iPhone and iPad maker in its statement on Friday.
"I think it's become clear that there had been a overbuild
through Q4 by the said largest customer and I think therefore as
we got into Q1 the general weakness was exacerbated by
destocking cycle," Peel Hunt analyst Dominic Convey said.
Convey also noted that lower-cost smartphone makers were
taking market share from Apple.
Laird also supplies components to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
Revenue fell marginally in both the core performance
materials division, which makes devices for smartphones and
tablets, and the wireless systems business.
The materials division accounted for 73 million pounds of
revenue while the wireless systems business contributed 47
The wireless business has been affected by a slowdown in
wireless spending and lower sales to the public safety market,
Brokerage Investec put its forecasts, target price and
recommendation under review following the results and said it
initially expected to trim its forecasts by 2-3 percent.
Investec has "hold" recommendation on the stock, with a
target price of 240 pence. Laird's shares were down 3.3 percent
at 209.7 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 1135 GMT.
The company, which also makes smart chips for GPS and radio
systems in cars, reported a 17 percent rise in full-year profit
in March, citing growing demand in the smart-device market.