Yell sees more revenues pressure

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Yellow Pages owner Yell highlighted the importance of its turnaround strategy after revealing a further 15 per cent slump in revenues.

Sales of print and other directory advertising slumped 22 per cent to £269.8 million in the quarter to 31 December, with revenues from digital directories down 16 per cent to £77.6m.

However, Yell was encouraged by the doubling in revenues from digital services to £35.4m as it bids to re-invent itself through schemes such as helping businesses operate their own virtual stores. The trial project features a directory of products that can be viewed on smartphones.

This did not offset the decline in its print and online directories businesses, which accelerated in the period as a result of the worsening economy and tougher competition online. Total revenues fell 15.1 per cent to £382.8m.

The group is also trialling community newsletters to help fill the gap in its print business and take advantage of the decline in local newspapers. The trial is currently in the United States but the scheme could be brought to the UK.

Chief executive Mike Pocock said: “Our digital services revenue continued to grow strongly. We expect this growth to accelerate as our strategic new products come to market.”

Its new strategy to grow online includes developing an “e-marketplace” designed to allow consumers to find Yell’s customers more easily.

The plans also involve selling services to local businesses registered on its site, including web design, loyalty schemes, marketing initiatives and computer software to help them do their accounting.

Yell recently agreed a new deal with lenders on its £2.6 billion debt mountain, giving it time to implement its turnaround plans.