UPDATE 1-Yellow Media posts profit, print sales still hurt

Tue Nov 6, 2012 8:22am EST

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Nov 6 (Reuters) - Canadian telephone directory publisher Yellow Media Inc reported a third-quarter profit, but lower print segment sales dragged revenue down again.

Yellow Media has been struggling to stem a slide in sales in its print business as more people shift to internet-based giants such as Google Inc for local listings.

The company has faced declining demand for print ads in its Yellow Pages and related directories and has had difficulty selling online ad space and coaxing advertisers to buy prime placements on its mobile platform.

Overall revenue fell 17 percent to C$267.7 million ($268.7 million). However, online revenue, which accounts for about 30 percent of total revenue, increased more than 5 percent to C$92.0 million.

The company laid out a plan in July to halve its C$1.8 billion debt, but amended it following opposition from some of its lenders.

The recapitalization plan has received conditional approval by the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company had reduced its net debt to C$1.4 billion by September-end.

Yellow Media's British counterpart Hibu Plc has also seen its core business decline while it grapples with net debt of 2.18 billion pounds as of July 25. Hibu recently said it would suspend loan payments until it restructured its balance sheet.

ADJUSTED PROFIT RISES

Yellow Media posted a net profit from continuing operations of C$24.0 million, or 4 Canadian cents per basic share, in the third quarter, compared with a net loss from continuing operations of C$2.81 billion, or C$5.52 per basic share, a year earlier.

The year-ago quarter included an impairment charge of C$2.9 billion.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations rose to C$77.1 million, or 15 Canadian cents per share, from C$69.2 million, or 14 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier due to lower cash taxes and cash interest payments.

Shares of Montreal-based Yellow Media, which has a market value of C$39 million, closed at 7.5 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. The stock has lost about 60 percent of its value so far this year.

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