Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Yellow Media books $2.9 billion loss on goodwill impairment charge

Yellow Media books $2.9 billion loss on goodwill impairment charge
 May 08, 2012
Yellow Media Inc. reported a first-quarter loss of $2.9 billion as the struggling directory publisher wrote down the value of its assets.
The company also cancelled its annual meeting planned for Tuesday in Montreal after it said the number of shareholder votes received will not be enough to reach quorum.
The current board and auditors will continue in office until the election or appointment of their successors, Yellow Media said,

“The adjournment of the meeting has no impact on the business and operations of the company,” chairman Marc Reisch said in a statement.
The company said the loss amounted to $5.61 per share for the quarter ended March 31 after it took a $2.9-billion impairment charge. The loss compared with a profit of $136.9 million, or 13 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
Revenues were $289.1 million compared to $349.4 million for the first quarter in 2011.
Excluding the massive one-time, the company said it earned $57.5 million, compared to net earnings from continuing operations of $70.5 million in 2011, due to lower revenues and increased income taxes.
Like many companies in the communications and publishing sector, Yellow Pages has been hit hard by changes in consumer behaviour as internet services dominate the information world.
Fewer Canadians are opening up traditional phone books to look up numbers and advertising revenues that underpin that industry are increasingly harder to generate.
The company is streamlining its print operations to improve its financial position as the publisher of the Yellow Pages directories continues its transformation to an internet company.
The company said the 17% decline in first-quarter revenues was due largely to lower print revenues, the discontinuation of some books published at Canpages and the divestiture of LesPac in November.
Lower revenues in its U.S. operations also factored in.
Still, online revenues grew 3.2%.
“Our industry continues to evolve as it adapts to a new digital reality. Although the needs of advertisers have not changed, they are seeking support navigating through this complex market,” said Marc Tellier, president and chief executive officer of Yellow Pages Group.
“Through our 360 degrees Solution and dedicated sales force, we offer a compelling value proposition to help Canadian businesses succeed in today’s digital world.”
The struggling media company has already announced it will cancel its preferred dividends as well as shake up its board of directors as the struggling media company looks for ways to pay back debt.
The company cancelled its dividend on common shares last September to help improve its financial position and pay down debt.
As well as publishing print and online directories, Yellow Media builds websites for small and medium-sized businesses and provides such services as email marketing and video production.
The company has said it’s uncertain if or when its new services will offset declining print revenues and lower margins from recent business acquisitions.

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