Ups and Downs on the YP Earnings Front

Many of the world's leading directory operations have released their third-quarter and year-to-date earnings, and as usual the results show a mixed picture. We report these in some detail in our Local Media Journal, as well as in summaries that we post for clients on the Client Inquiry Briefs section of our Web site.

But here is a quick summary of some recent earnings announcements with a few comments.

Canada's Yellow Pages Group grew its directory revenues 5.5 percent on an adjusted basis to C$856 million, while pushing EBITDA up 8.1 percent. Online revenues for directories and vertical media (classifieds) combined reached C$67.2 million. Here is an article with more detail, and YPG's third-quarter documents can be found here.

Last week, U.S. incumbent R.H. Donnelley and the Swedish directory publisher Eniro both published their year-to-date results.

RHD noted a number of areas in which it improved since the first half, when it reported weakness in the Dex and AT&T markets, much of it related to quality issues caused by Dex's conversion onto a new publishing system. For the third quarter, RHD reported it had completely worked through a backlog of 13,000 complaints and had reached a performance of handling 90 percent of customer claims within 24 hours.

RHD also reported that local revenues in its AT&T-branded markets grew in the third quarter for the first time since the publisher acquired what was the DonTech business from AT&T in July 2004. National growth still lags, however.

Above all, RHD raised its EBITDA guidance for the full year, from a margin of 54.5 percent to 55.2 percent. TKG will report in more detail on RHD's results in the next Local Media Journal, and in a Client Inquiry Brief. You can check here to read RHD's earnings announcement.

At Eniro, the company experienced overall operating revenue growth of 1 percent to SEK4.6 billion. Print directories in its core Nordic markets remain a trouble spot, however, which contributed to some stock downgrades. Exane BNP Paribas, for example, downgraded Eniro from "outperform" to "neutral."

One of the main reasons cited for the less positive outlook for Eniro was the performance of print in Sweden, where "offline" revenues are still struggling to regain growth. For the nine months, offline revenues declined 3 percent, and Eniro has adjusted its forecast for offline in Sweden from flat to a 2 percent decline.

TKG will also report on Eniro’s results in more detail in LMJ and a CIB. In the meantime, you can click here for Eniro's earnings release.

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