Yell to confirm progress on reduction of debt pile

DIRECTORIES publisher Yell Group will tomorrow say it has cut its debt-pile by nearly 11 per cent, to &pound;3.8bn, since its 2008 year-end report and that refinancing conversations with its key lenders are continuing.<br /><br />Earlier this month, the owner of Yellow Pages said it had entered talks regarding a debt restructuring &ndash; just eight months after it renegotiated its banking covenants &ndash; and that it planned to extend the maturity and change the terms of its debt facilities. It had expected the process to take until the autumn.<br /><br />The company could also consider a rights issue to raise cash to address its debt situation.<br /><br />Yell is also expected to confirm that falls in revenues and core profit are accelerating due to the declines in advertising spend, but that cash flow and conversion remain strong enough to make further debt repayments as well as interest payments.<br /><br />Meanwhile, investor body Pirc issued an alert on Yell, urging shareholders to oppose its remuneration report and the re-election of chief executive John Condron at its annual meeting on Friday.<br /><br />But a source close to Yell said that shareholders were behind the remuneration package and rated Condron highly, labelling Pirc&rsquo;s alert as being out of context and the organisation &ldquo;about as far from the pulse of things as you could ever get&rdquo;.