REFILE-Yellow Pages publisher Hibu says debt deal likely in "near future"
Feb 12 (Reuters) - Yellow Pages publisher Hibu Plc, which is grappling with a heavy debt load, said it remains in talks with lenders and expects to reach a deal on restructuring its debt "in the near future."
Hibu said in October that it would suspend debt repayments and that it planned to present a restructuring proposal to lenders by January to clean up its balance sheet by the first half of 2013.
Hibu had just over 2 billion pounds ($3.13 billion) of debt as of Dec. 31, built up in a series of acquisitions including a 3.3 billion euro ($4.42 billion) deal to buy a Spanish directories business in 2006.
Like other directories publishers, Hibu has been struggling to cope with a slide in its print businesses as more people turn to the Internet for local listings.
The company said revenue fell 14 percent to 314 million pounds in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue at its print and other directory businesses fell 22 percent.
However, revenue at its digital services business rose 31 percent. Digital revenue now makes up 36 percent of overall revenue, up from 30 percent last year.
Shares in the company, which once traded at more than 600 pence, were up 3 percent at 0.34 pence at 0804 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
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