Belfast Telegraph

Laird shares plunge after profit warning over slowing mobile phone market

Shares in tech firm Laird went into freefall on Wednesday following a profit warning linked to fears over a slowing mobile phone market.

Laird, which supplies components to smartphone makers Samsung and Apple, saw its stock plunge 47% in afternoon trading to 163.2p after highlighting "unprecedented pricing pressures".

The company said in a trading statement: "The acceleration of production for mobile devices has come much later than in previous cycles and visibility on volumes remains poor.

"In addition, we have experienced increased margin pressure due to unprecedented pricing pressures and some operational factors. This has led to a very challenging trading performance."

The firm said that full year underlying pre-tax profit would take a hit as a result, coming in at around £50 million compared with last year's figure of £73.1 million.

Laird added that revenues fell 4% on a constant currency basis in the third quarter.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Laird shares have taken a hammering.

"The fall comes despite some substantial benefits to revenue from the falling pound - a sign that lower sterling may not be quite the caffeine rush for the UK's manufacturers that some had expected."