Directories group Yell has revealed online revenues in the UK jumped 71 per cent during an "outstanding" quarter for its Yell.com business.
W hile sales from UK printed directories fell one per cent to £142.5 million, Yell said its website - promoted by actor James Nesbitt - a chieved turnover of £20.2 million between April and June and saw the number of searches rise 20.8 per cent.
Yell yesterday said the " out-performance" from Yell.com meant it remained on course for UK revenues growth of three per cent in this financial year, which ends next April.
Chief executive John Condron said the company, which has substantial operations in the United States and Spain, had made a strong start to the year.
He added: "In the UK, Yell.com's outstanding growth drove a strong overall performance, despite the expected decline in printed directory revenues due to continued competition."
Revenues across the group were up 18.6 per cent on a year earlier to £313.6 million, while operating profits lifted 3.4 per cent to £99.1 million.
Pretax profits fell 54 per cent to £70.7 million, as a result of financing charges related to the acquisition of Telefonica's printed directories business in Spain earlier this year.
Mr Condron defended the company's record after the Competition Commission said last month that the price caps on what it charges customers should remain in place for the future.
The competition regulator reports in November but recommended in June that controls be kept on the amount Yell can charge companies for listing in Yellow Pages.
That came after provisional findings said Yell's 75 per cent market share gave it the power to set prices "above competitive levels".
Mr Condron said: "The Competition Commission published its provisional conclusions last month and it's still too early to judge.
"But we still believe regulation is not needed in the UK and that we are giving increasing service and satisfaction for our customers.
" We'll have to wait until November to see if the UK is to remain the only regulated market in the sector."
Mr Condron said he would not speculate on the outcome of the report but said he believes Yell gives a good deal to advertisers buying space.
Yell's comments came as it unveiled first quarter figures affected by exceptional items and the amortisation of £36.3 million caused by debt refinancing before the acquisition of its Spanish counterpart, TPI.
UK growth was driven by the very strong performance at Yell.com and the US saw revenues up by 33 per cent at 203.7 million.
Revenue at the group level was up 18.6 per cent to £371.9 million for the quarter ending June 30, with adjusted pre tax profit up eight per cent to £78.2 million.
Operating profits were up 3.4 per cent to £102.7 million, below the £113. million fore-cast by brokerage Teather & Greenwood.
Shares closed up 0.5p at 520.5.