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Laird reports hike in annual pre-tax profits

Technology group Laird reported a 54 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits, driven by sales to original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

Technology group Laird reported a 54 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits, driven by sales to original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

Profits before tax from continuing operations came to £45.1m for 2012, up from £29.3m a year earlier.

Revenues grew 6.0% year-on-year to £520.2m while full-year underlying earnings per share rose 18% to 19.1p.

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The firm saw an improvement in operating margin to 13.1% from 11.9%.

Shareholders were rewarded a final dividend of 6.6p per share, taking the total 2012 dividend up to 10p, compared to 8.0p the previous year.

"In 2012, significant progress has been made to focus the company on its three primary sources of sustainable differentiation - innovation, reliable fulfilment and speed," said Chief Executive David Lockwood, who was appointed in August.

"The company sells into global market segments with attractive growth prospects. This, together with Laird's clear strategic focus and increase in investment, provides a good platform from which to deliver its medium to long-term targets."

Sales to the company's largest OEM customer accounted for 19% of revenues last year, an increase on the 14% in 2011, thanks to strong demand in the market.

Since his appointment, Lockwood has been making a number of organisational changes for more "collaborative working across the business", the company said.

The group expects first quarter revenues to be at a similar level to last year and revenues to be weighted toward the second half of the year as a result of product launches and seasonal factors.

Shares climbed 0.20% to 248.40p at 10:05 Friday.

RD

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