Business news in brief: Yellow Pages | Lo-Q | Avaloq

YELLOW Pages publisher Hibu reported a 22 per cent fall in print and other directory revenues to £200 million in the final three months of last year.

However, the group said digital revenues now account for 36 per cent of sales after it rolled out eMarketplace, which provides small businesses with the infrastructure to sell online without having to set up their own website.

Chief executive Mike Pocock said Hibu was making significant progress in executing its digital strategy and was in discussions with lenders over plans for a capital restructure to slash its £2 billion debt pile.

Lo-Q results are just the ticket

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Lo-Q, the Aim-quoted technology firm that provides ticketing systems for theme parks including Dollywood and Legoland, posted a double-digit rise in profits yesterday as demand for its devices soared.

Revenue was up 18.7 per cent for the year to 4 November at £29.1 million, while pre-tax profits added 16.7 per cent at £3.2m as it rolled out a new smartphone based system.

The firm also said it had arranged a new £4.75m debt facility with Lloyds to replace a loan note issued as part of its recent acquisition of American peer Accesso.

Avaloq expands with Sydney base

BANKING software firm Avaloq has opened an office in Australia as part of its internationalisation strategy.

The Zurich-based company, which supports wealth management systems for the likes of RBS Coutts from its Edinburgh-based development centre, said a local presence in financial centres worldwide allows it to cater to its clients’ needs without having to work across different time zones.

Francisco Fernandez, chief executive of Avaloq, said a presence in Sydney was a “logical move” after it opened a Singapore office in 2007.

L’Oreal seeks out acquisition targets

L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics group, said it was open to a strategic acquisition a day after unveiling results at the top end of expectations.

Chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said the French company had the “means and the guts to do it [a takeover deal]”, helped by a “war chest” of €1.575 billion (£1.35bn) cash at the end of 2012.

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“We look at every business in the cosmetics industry… but we are very selective,” Agon said, adding L’Oreal did not wish to make an acquisition that would transform its business. Analysts said there were no obvious targets.