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Yell revenues stabilise

PUBLISHING group Yell saw signs of stability in the third quarter as the rate of revenue decline slowed.

The FTSE 250-group reported a 13 per cent drop in revenue at constant currency rates for the three months to December – beating the 16 per cent guidance previously given.

Revenue for the first nine months of the year came in at £1.5m down 13.3 per cent on 2008.

The yellow pages publisher said confidence is beginning to return to the small business community from which it gets most of its advertising revenue and this will be reflected in its results for the quarter to the end of June.

While its printed directories business continues to struggle, its internet business is putting in a stronger performance with web revenue now accounting for 20 per cent of total revenue compared with 15 per cent from the same period last year.

Chief executive John Condron, said: "While the economic pressures remain, we continue to see early signs that the rate of revenue decline is stabilising and this quarter has again delivered revenue slightly above guidance.

"The fact that our usage and retention rates remain relatively resilient gives us confidence for the future and we continue to invest in our products and sales teams to ensure we are best placed to help our customers grow when the economy recovers."

However, the tough times are far from over with a 16 per cent decline pencilled in for the current quarter.

Yell says it still expects EBITDA for the year to the end of March of at least £600m.

At the end of last year Yell announced plans to tap investors for £660m to boost its balance sheet and help cut its then £3.8 billion debt pile.