Yell Group says its full 2009/10 financial year beat expectations – but the Yell.com and Yellow Pages publisher is still in that classic conundrum of nicely-rising online income not being enough to stop company-wide decline…
— Online: Yell.com lost 8.3 percent of its advertisers and 9.3 percent of its website users – but it managed to extract 8.7 percent more money from those advertisers (average £839pa), so UK web income rose 7.1 percent to £176.2 million.
— Print: But Yellow Pages lost 14.1 percent of its advertisers and didn’t manage to charge them more for the privilege – so the printed business saw income slim by 18.8 percent to £409.9 million.
So, in the UK, Yell.com is now approaching half the size of the Yellow Pages business, 29 percent of the whole business revenue.
2009, of course, was a particularly bad time for classified operators. By rights, Yell.com might have attracted more advertisers to the online medium – more refugees from relatively expensive, inefficient print advertising – but, unlike the likes of Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Yell is not predominantly a search ads operator.
Across the company, Yell Group revenue fell 11.5 percent to £2.12 billion, but the company swung back to a £46.8 million profit from last year’s £1.14 billion loss, which was incurred mostly because it wrote off the value of its Hispanic division.
In the U.S., Yellow Book print and online revenue went in opposite directions by almost exactly the same proportion – 18.5 percent down and 18.2 percent up respectively. But, again, print is the bigger part of the business, internet only 16 percent, so U.S. revenue dipped 14.2 percent to billion.
CEO John Condron now says he will be leaving before May 2011, while chief financial officer John Davis is also leaving.