Yell Group, the debt-laden owner of the Yellow Pages, is close to unveiling a new digital-focused strategy after reporting annual revenues at its print operations tumbled 19pc to 2.12 billion dollars.
The directories publisher, which has operations in the UK, Spain, Latin America and the United States, said that in contrast to print, digital media revenues rose by 9.4pc to 739m dollars in the year to March 31.
This accounts for 24.3pc of total revenues, up from 19.6pc a year ago.
Yell said annual revenues had slipped 12.4pc to 3.04b dollars, while profit before tax was 107.21m dollars, down from 113.7m the previous year.
“Our strategic review is now well advanced and our extensive and thorough work to date strengthens the confidence we expressed in February.
“We will leverage our key assets, primarily our strong brands and customer relationships, to benefit from the large and fast- growing digital market,” said Mike Pocock, the group’s chief executive. He is set to report the details of the strategic review in July.
Yell's chairman is former City banker Bob Wigley.
The shares were up 5pc to 7p in morning trading, as the market welcomed the digital growth and the better-than-expected numbers. The shares have dropped from above 8 usd in 2007 to below 16 usd this year, wiping out most of Yell's market value.
“Our market positions in print remain strong and print revenues, though still under pressure, continue to generate significant cash flow,” said Mr Pocock.
Over the year, Yell generated usd 428m of cash and reduced net debt by almost usd 533m.
The company has conceded that the continued decline in print was being “only partially offset by the growth in digital media”.