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Yell Drops Most in Three Months as Sales Fall: London Mover

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Yell Group Plc fell the most in almost three months after the publisher of the U.K.’s yellow pages said sales declined 15 percent in the fourth quarter.

Yell dropped 17 percent, the biggest decline Nov. 16, to 4.87 pence in London after the Berkshire, England-based company said that sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31 declined to 383 million pounds ($602 million.) Chief Executive Officer Mike Pocock said in today’s statement the “deteriorating macro environment and a more competitive digital directory market” are driving a faster rate of decline in directory revenue.

“We remain concerned that an accelerated decline the group’s predominantly print revenues could undermine required investment” in its digital strategy, Numis said in a note to today. Fourth quarter sales missed consensus estimates for 405 million pounds, according to Numis, which cut its forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for 2013 to 449 million pounds from 476 million pounds.

Yell said print advertisers fell 17.5 percent in the period to 235,000, excluding White Pages and other directories. Print revenue per advertiser was down 2.7 percent to 1,029 pounds, while digital services sales rose to 35.4 million pounds.

Yell fell to its lowest since Dec. 21 at its close in London today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Finbarr Flynn in Dublin at fflynn3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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