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Smart-device launches set to boost Laird revenue

(Reuters) - Laird Plc , whose products include electronic components used in Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads, said it expected 2013 revenue to be boosted by the product launches of three or four of its customers despite a relatively flat start to the year.

Though the launch dates are not yet official, industry watchers expect iPhone 5S and iPad Mini to hit stores around the third quarter, right after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's <005930.KS> Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Fonblet.

"We tend to get a big kick every time a customer launches a new product and we have got a number of customer product launches timed around the mid year," Chief Executive David Lockwood told Reuters.

Apple, which contributed 19 percent to Laird's overall revenue in 2012, is the company's largest client in its smart-phone business, which also includes Samsung.

In the final quarter of 2012, when the iPhone 5 had entered all markets, Wall Street estimated Apple sold between 47.5 million and 53 million iPhones, up considerably from the 26.9 million sold in the previous quarter.

Laird, which makes electromagnetic shielding and heat control components for wireless devices, reported a 17 percent rise in full-year underlying pretax profit to 60.7 million pounds, propped up by acquisitions and growing demand in the smart-device market.

The company, 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 were marginally up at 248.6 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 0955 GMT (4.55 a.m.ET) on Friday.

(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 and Don Sebastian)

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