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Seat Pagine Plans 100 Million Euros in Cost Cuts Within 4 Years

Seat Pagine Gialle SpA, Italy’s largest phone-book publisher, plans cost cuts of about 100 million euros ($132 million) over the next three to four years, Chief Executive Officer Alberto Cappellini said.

The savings will help the Turin-based company maintain its Ebitda margin, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as a percentage of sales, higher than 40 percent, the CEO said at a presentation in Milan today.

“We have a significant cost management program as the company transitions from print to online offerings,” Cappellini said.

Phone-book publishers in Europe including Seat Pagine are beefing up their Internet offerings as users and advertisers ditch printed directories. The company’s online revenue exceeded print sales for the first time last year.

The stock rose as much as 14 percent to 5.97 euro cents, and was up 8.8 percent at 3:36 p.m. in Milan. The stock surged 20 percent yesterday.

“There are no elements that can explain the share movements,” CEO Cappellini said. Chief Financial Officer Massimo Cristofori added that the stock is mainly held by retail investors and therefore it “trades a lot on sentiment.”

The company has said it plans to generate 80 percent of revenue from the Web in 2015 and is evaluating whether to purchase Glamoo, a company it has a coupon partnership with.

Seat Pagine, whose bondholders agreed this month to a 1.28 billion-euro debt-for-equity swap proposal, plans to complete its debt restructuring plan in October, Cappellini said in a March 13 interview.

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