Yell chair to go over Goodwin pension row

YELL chairman Bob Scott &ndash; who as a Royal Bank of Scotland director rubber-stamped Sir &nbsp;Fred Goodwin&rsquo;s &pound;17m pension &ndash; said yesterday that he will not stand for re-election to the directory publisher&rsquo;s board.<br /><br />Scott, who had been chairman of the Yellow Pages publisher since June 2002, bowed out after shareholders expressed their concern over his role in RBS&rsquo;s fate. Scott&rsquo;s decision follows the resignation of former RBS chairman Sir Tom McKillop from the board of BP under the threat of a similar protest vote from investors over his role at the failed bank<br /><br />The news came as the debt-laden company confirmed that it is actively looking at all refinancing options and said it could not rule out asset sales ahead of April 2011, when a large tranche of its debt is due for repayment.<br /><br />However the company said its cashflow should be strong enough to meet interest payments and pay down some of its &pound;4.2bn debt this year. Yell also announced that it took a &pound;1.3bn writedown in the full year to March 2009 and forecast a 20 per cent drop in core profit this quarter. The writedown was mostly against its Yell Publicidad division, which has been hit by the severe recession in Spain.<br /><br />Adjusted earnings fell 1.8 per cent at constant currencies to a better-than-expected &pound;816m.<br /><br />But the group said it would be providing guidance only on a quarterly basis for the time being.<br /><br />&ldquo;In this uncertain world, a quarter ahead is all we can see,&rdquo; said chief financial officer John Davis.<br /><br />Shares in Yell closed 2.17 per cent lower at 45p.