Yell steadies the ship but its revenues continue to decline

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 yesterday – 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 he remained confident for the future: “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.”

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

Yell, however, says it still expects earnings for the year to the end of March to be at least £600m.