Yellow Pages firm hibu heading for default

 

Bombed-out Yellow Pages publisher hibu reported another dire set of results today and admitted a default on £2 billion of debt was likely at the end of February.

It said revenues fell 14% to £314 million in the last three months of 2012.

Print dived 22% but digital directories also fell 7% as even the online version of Yellow Pages, rebranded as hibu last July, struggles against the might of Google.

Headline profits before exceptionals and interest, known as ebitda, almost halved to £55 million.

The only good news was that digital services — making websites and providing other e-commerce services for local businesses — rose 31% to £45 million.

The debt-laden group warned that it would not make an interest payment of £49 million due on February 28 and a further payment of £25 million due on March 28.

“These non-payments would amount to an event of default,” hibu admitted.

However, lenders are unlikely to force hibu into liquidation. Instead, the banks are set to take control in a debt-for-equity swap, with a deal expected “in the near future”.

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