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Laird profit rises 17 percent on strong smart-device market

(Reuters) - Laird Plc, which makes electromagnetic shielding and heat control components for wireless devices, said full-year profit rose 17 percent, propped up by acquisitions and growing demand in the smart-device market.

The company, which makes parts used in Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads, said first-quarter revenue would be flat compared with the same year-earlier period, but forecast higher sales in the second half of 2013 would boost full-year growth.

Laird's first-quarter revenue in 2012 was 122 million pounds ($185.19 million).

Underlying pretax profit grew to 60.7 million pounds in full-year 2012, from 51.7 million pounds the previous year.

Revenue increased 6 percent to 520.2 million pounds, including acquisitions.

Sales at the company's core performance materials division rose 6 percent to 324.7 million pounds when its early 2012 acquisition of microwave technology firm Microwave Materials Group is included.

Laird, which also makes smart chips for GPS and radio systems in cars, supplied antennae for the wireless system Virgin Media Inc installed in the London Underground in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Laird's shares closed at 247.9 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday.

(This March 1 story was corrected in paragraph 7 to say Laird supplied antennae, not anti-heat devices, for the London Underground)

(Reporting By Richa Naidu; Editing by Robin Paxton)

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