* Q1 revenue in sterling rises 1 pct
* Sees improved performance in the second half
* Smartphone, tablet growth boosts demand for components
(Adds details, share price)
By Noor Zainab Hussain
May 2 Laird Plc, which makes components
used in smartphones and tablets, reported a marginal rise in
first-quarter revenue as it capitalised on growing demand for
portable electronic devices.
The company's stock rose as much as 3.5 percent in early
trading to rank briefly as the top percentage gainer on the FTSE
Laird said revenue in sterling for the quarter ended March
31 rose 1 percent to 120 million pounds. In dollar terms,
revenue rose to $199 million from $186 million.
The increase was driven by the company's performance
materials division, which makes electromagnetic shielding and
heat control devices for customers such as Apple Inc
and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Revenue for the division rose 1 percent to 74 million
pounds, helped by rising demand for smartphones and games
consoles. The rollout of 4G networks also boosted demand for
thermal and electromagnetic interference products.
Apple said it sold 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended
March, far outpacing the roughly 38 million that Wall Street had
Laird said revenue in sterling from its wireless systems
division, which makes chips for GPS and radio systems in cars,
fell 2 percent to 46 million pounds.
The London-based company, which operates in North America,
Europe and Asia, said it expects new contracts and product
launches to improve its performance in the second half of the
Growth in the second half will be aided in part by gains
from the company's acquisition last month of a 51 percent stake
in South Korean prototyping business Model Solution. The
acquisition is expected to add to earnings in the first full
Laird's shares were up 2.3 percent at 286.1 pence at 0725
(Editing by Robin Paxton)