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Business News

Yellow Pages publisher delays results

The uncertain future of the Yellow Pages directories publisher Hibu took yet another twist yesterday as the debt-laden company unexpectedly delayed its annual results.

Hibu had been due to report to the stock market this week, but a statement on its website said that a date would now be "advised in due course".

A source close to the company said that it wanted to delay the results until it is ready to announce plans for a capital restructuring – although the saga over Hibu's £2bn debt load has been dragging on since at least October last year, with no obvious sign of a resolution.

One industry insider claimed that recent trading at Hibu has been "dire" and the company admitted in its last quarterly results that revenues had plunged by 14 per cent as it struggles to adapt to the internet age.

Shareholders have already been wiped out as Hibu's stock-market value has crashed to £10m and the company has breached bank covenants after missing £74m in loan payments in February and March.

Hibu's chief executive, Mike Pocock, has been dogged by problems recently. He fired two senior US executives in March amid speculation that they were plotting a buyout. Then he controversially paid bonuses to 2,500 staff two months earlier than usual in April despite the crisis.

Lenders, which include Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, are set to seize control in a debt-for-equity swap.