Yellow Pages digital revenue rises, but print falls

The print and digital listing company's digital rev now represents nearly 70% of its total revenue, but visits to digital properties have still decreased.
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The Yellow Pages released its Q3 financial results Nov. 9, showing a sharp decrease in print revenue, prompting the company to post a more modest outlook for its growth for the year.

Print revenue for the quarter saw a decline of 24.4% year-over-year, amounting to $62.2 million. The company attributed the decline to customers migrating their marketing spend to digital, in a release on its Q3 results. Digital revenue, however, increased 8.4% year-over-year to a total of $138.6 million, with that revenue now representing 68.9% of total revenues.

Still, total visits to the Yellow Pages’ digital properties have declined year-over-year from 124.1 million in Q3 2016 to 109.4 million in the same period for 2015. The company said this was adversely impacted by changes to the layout of Google’s mobile web search results pages.

Overall, revenues for the quarter decreased 4.5% year-over-year to $201.1 million. Customer count has declined slightly, from 246,000 customers in Q3 2015 to 243,000 customers this past quarter. However, the company noted that the loss is smaller than the same period in the previous year, which saw 14,000 net losses from Q3 2014 to 2015. It’s also increased its rate of customer acquisitions, bringing in 40,200 new customers between Q3 in 2015 and 2016, as opposed to 27,200 new customers the previous year. Customer renewal rate was relatively flat at 83% for Q3 2016 (85% in Q3 2015).

Net earnings for the quarter amounted to $3.8 million, compared to $13.2 million in 2015. Much of the difference was attributed to a higher level of capital expenditures related to the company’s increased digital efforts including acquisitions such as Juice Mobile and Totem earlier this year.

The results have prompted Yellow Pages to revise its predictions for the fiscal year. It now anticipates delivering a year-over-year pro forma digital revenue growth for the year between 5% and 8% — down from the previously predicted growth of between 9% and 11%.

In addition to the financial results announced, Julien Billot, president and CEO of the Yelllow Pages, announced the retirement of two senior execs with the company. SVP and CFO Ginette Maillé and SVP and COO Doug Clarke will both retire Mar. 1 2017, while sales VP Dominique Vallée will succeed Clarke with a newly titled role of SVP, sales and customer care.


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