Yell chief seeks online growth

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The Independent Online

Michael Pocock, Yell's new chief executive, will talk up opportunities to expand the heavily indebted FTSE 250 directories group online in next week's third-quarter results.

He began a strategic review soon after he took over last month. Mr Pocock is understood to believe that Yell has to accelerate its online business as print directories lose popularity. Yell is expected to announce that net debt has fallen below £2.9bn.

Before a rights issue and refinancing two years ago, Yell's debt had reached £3.6bn.

A company source said: "Mr Pocock has asked the board and shareholders for some time to think through strategy. By the summer, he should have reaffirmed and clarified that strategy."

In a busy week in the City, mining giants BHP Billiton and Anglo American report interim and final results. Media group Reed Elsevier and defence group BAE Systems also report full-year figures.

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