Media firm Yell has said the advertising slump caused revenues from its UK printed directories to fall by 17.4 per cent in the three months to July.
Sales at Yell.com grew by 8.6 per cent but this was not enough to prevent overall UK revenues from declining 11.3 per cent to £153.8 million in the first quarter of the financial year. Underlying earnings dropped 12.2 per cent to £60.4 million.
Despite the latest decline, Yell chief executive John Condron said the company continued to outperform other firms in the media sector.
He pointed to continued growth in online traffic, with 28 per cent of UK revenues now achieved through the internet.
“In print, the economy is clearly placing pressure on customers’ total spend but loyalty rates remain at a high level,” he added.
Across the group, which also has directories operations in Spain and the United States, revenues and earnings were slightly ahead of previous guidance – up 1.5 per cent at £475.3 million and down 4.4 per cent at £148 million respectively.
The company also reduced debt levels by £400 million to £3.8 billion, due to strong cash generation and recent strengthening of sterling.
Yell is in talks with lenders to refinance its debt, a process which is expected to take until the autumn to complete.