Tech group Laird sends City bad signal with profit alert

Laird counts smartphone makers Apple and Samsung among its customers. Picture: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/GettyImages
Laird counts smartphone makers Apple and Samsung among its customers. Picture: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/GettyImages
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Shares in Laird Group collapsed to nearly half their value yesterday after the maker of iPhone components warned of a sharp fall in annual profits amid “unprecedented” pricing pressures in the smartphone market.

The business, which specialises in connectivity and electronic component protection, and is quoted in the FTSE 250 index, said an expected rebound in phone production failed to materialise in the third quarter. It said there also remains a lack of clarity on future order volumes.

READ MORE: First fall in iPhone sales weighs on Apple revenues

As a result, Laird said full-year underlying profits will be down by about 30 per cent on last year at roughly £50 million. Analysts had previously forecast profits of about £75m, up from £73m in 2015. Shares in the company ended the day 48.7 per cent lower at 158.4p.

The profit warning follows a difficult period for Samsung, another of Laird’s key customers, which has had to scrap its flagship Galaxy Note 7 after devices caught fire. In July, Apple reported a 15 per cent drop in iPhone sales.

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