Eniro to Be an Online First Business in 2008

The Nordic directory publisher Eniro announced somewhat disappointing results for the first quarter, with weaker than expected print results not fully offset by online revenues. Eniro President and CEO Tomas Franzén noted that the first quarter is seasonally weak for its online business.

In 2007, Eniro generated 54 percent of its revenues from online. This year, Franzén says the business will generate a majority of its revenues from non-print sources.

Group wide, Eniro posted first-quarter revenues of SEK1.38 billion, a 2 percent decline over Q1 2007. Online grew 13 percent, while print was down 14 percent (that’s organically), led by an alarming 24 percent organic print decline in Norway, largely due to the publication of the Oslo Yellow Pages.

And some of the weak print results were made weaker by the publication of big city Yellow Pages directories (such as Gothenburg in Sweden and Oslo in Norway) and fewer of the better performing local directories. Online results in Denmark were made weaker as well by glitches in integrating the Kraks online directory operation acquired last year. Generally, the company expects print to decline at a lower rate and online to grow at a faster rate for the full year 2008, with online growth more than offsetting print declines.

One interesting revelation from the call was that in 2009, Eniro will switch to a smaller format print Yellow Pages directory in both Norway and Sweden as part of a broader program to try to stabilize declines in print Yellow Pages.

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