Yellow Pages and Yell.com owner in rebrand plan

 

The owner of directory services Yellow Pages and Yell.com today outlined plans to rebrand itself "hibu" as it swung to a £1.4 billion annual loss.

Yell Group said printed products, such as the Yellow Pages, will not change their identity but wants the parent company and its digital offerings such as Yell.com and eMarketplace to fall under the new moniker, pronounced "high boo".

While chief executive Mike Pocock has admitted the word means nothing, the company said hibu told a "story" and the logo's soft-shouldered edges represented the "people behind the identity".

The eMarketplace, which will be called market.hibu.com, provides small businesses with the infrastructure to sell online, without having to set up their own website.

Shares in Yell Group tumbled 21% after it revealed the pre-tax loss in the year to March 31, compared to a £66.3 million profit in the previous year. The name-change is subject to shareholder approval at its annual meeting on July 26.

The huge loss was largely a non-cash write-down on the value of its print business, with underlying earnings declining £47 million to £461 million.

Mr Pocock, who previously worked for Linksys, the home and small business networking division of communications giant Cisco, said: "In the current year, I expect to see more good progress. We will deliver material new product revenues, announce some important new strategic partnerships and deliver further improvement in our capabilities.

"As part of this transformation, I am pleased to announce a new corporate brand, reflecting our increasing focus on the digital consumer."

Having previously pledged to turn Yell into a predominantly digital business, Mr Pocock said digital revenues now accounted for 29% of total sales.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the growth of digital business will be crucial to the success of the company.

Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "It's encouraging to see Yell increasing their customer base and revenue in their digital operations. The success of this business area will clearly be crucial to the future ability of the company and employee support will be a major factor in the success of this transition."

Elsewhere, the group said full year print and other directory revenues declined 20.7% over the prior year, reflecting fewer customers and lower spending from small businesses.

Digital directory revenues declined 11.1% as increasing competition and the economic environment hit the business, although its digital services revenues more than doubled, primarily from online searches.

The group has slashed costs by cutting staff by 700, reducing overall IT costs and through a 2.6 percentage point reduction in the rate of bad debts.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Reach Volunteering: Trustees with Finance, Fundraising and IT skills

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition