Yellow Pages Limited Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial and Operating Results
Montreal (Quebec), August 10, 2017 — Yellow Pages Limited (TSX: Y) (the “Company”), a leading Canadian digital media and marketing company, released its operational and financial results today for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2017.
(In thousands of Canadian dollars, except percentage, per share and customer count information)
Highlights for the Second Quarter of 2017
- Digital revenues decreased 2.9% year-over-year to $138.3 million. Digital revenues now account for 72% of total revenues.
- Total digit visits (“TDV”) to the Yellow Pages network of properties grew over 50% year-over-year to 162 million. This increase is a result of Yellow Pages syndicating listings and content across its owned and operated media properties and strong partnership network.
- Customer count decreased 3% year-over-year. Yellow Pages will place increased emphasis on growing the customer base through the acquisition of high potential customers and the retention of existing customers to stabilize and grow the Company’s revenues.
- Yellow Pages continued progress in operationalizing its new customer offerings and go-to-market strategy. Yellow Pages expects to begin piloting elements of these initiatives, including evergreen contracts, in the second half of 2017. The Company remains on track to complete implementation of these initiatives in 2018.
- Yellow Pages will begin piloting MyTime solutions in Q3 2017. Yellow Pages entered into a Canada-wide exclusive licensing agreement with MyTime, a cloud-based all-in-one commerce platform for SMEs, to provide online booking, messaging and payment capability to its customers.
- Yellow Pages Board of Directors appointed Ken Taylor as interim President and CEO and commenced a process of identifying a permanent successor.
- Yellow Pages expects to meet its 2017 guidance targets communicated on May 10, 2017 for totalrevenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. The Company has lowered its 2017 expectations for customer count and digital revenue growth. As we disclosed on July 26th, the Company continues to believe that digital revenue will increase this year but we no longer expect to reach our previously stated target of approximately 4% growth.
“My priorities are to complete the refinancing of our Senior Notes, to drive efficiencies and operational performance in all segments of our business and to ensure continued momentum on the delivery of our new customer offerings and go-to-market strategy,” said Ken Taylor, CFO and interim President and CEO of Yellow Pages Limited.
In conjunction with Yellow Pages’ updated corporate strategy announced in Q1 2017, the Company has made changes to how it manages, allocates capital and assesses performance of the business. The Company’s operations have been divided into the following four segments:
- YP – digital and traditional marketing solutions, including owned and operated media, provided to small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”)
- Agency – national advertising services to brands and publishers, primarily through Mediative, Juice and Totem subsidiaries
- Real Estate – media and expertise to help Canadians buy and sell their homes, via ComFree/DuProprio (“CFDP”) and Yellow Pages NextHome subsidiaries
- Other – diversified portfolio of media properties, including 411.ca and local lifestyles magazines specific to the Western Canadian market
An overview of each segment and the performance of each segment for the three and six-month periods ended June 30, 2017 can be found in the August 10, 2017 Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Yellow Pages will provide quarterly results on a segmented basis going forward.
Financial Results for the Second Quarter of 2017
Total revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 decreased 9.2% year-over-year to $191.2 million, mainly due to lower print revenues. Digital revenues totalled $138.3 million down 2.9% from the same period last year due to declines in the Agency and YP segments. Print revenues decreased 22.2% year-over-year to $52.9 million, mainly due to a decline in the number of print customers as marketing spending shifts from print to digital.
Adjusted EBITDA totalled $44.4 million for the second quarter 2017, compared to $58.9 million during the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 23.2% compared to 28% in the prior year. The decrease in Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin was mainly impacted by lower overall revenues and changes in product mix, partially offset by cost saving initiatives.
Net earnings for the second quarter 2017 were $0.8 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to $11 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, for the same period last year. The decline in net earnings was primarily due to lower Adjusted EBITDA offset partially by a decline in financing costs.
The Company generated free cash flow of $14.6 million for the second quarter of 2017, down from $23.2 million the previous year due to lower Adjusted EBITDA.
Net debt amounted to $371 million at June 30, 2017.
For the year ending December 31, 2017, Yellow Pages anticipates:
- Total revenues between $770 million and $780 million;
- Adjusted EBITDA between $170 million and $180 million;
- Free cash flow between $50 million and $55 million;
- Customer count of approximately 230,000;
- Capital expenditures, net of related lease incentives, of less than $65 million.
As part of establishing the above guidance, the Company made the following assumptions:
- Economic conditions in Canada will not deteriorate;
- The decline in print revenues will remain at or below 25%;
- The Company will be able to introduce, sell and provision the new products and services that support our customer base and Average Revenue per Customer (ARPC) assumptions;
- The revenue mix between the Company’s digital owned and operated, services and resale solutions will not materially change from anticipated levels;
- The Company will be able to further accelerate customer acquisition levels at currently anticipated ARPC and over time, retain and upsell newly acquired customers;
- Investments in marketing and branding will evolve legacy perceptions and boost awareness of our digital media platforms and marketing solutions;
- The Company will be able to realize efficiency gains in its cost structure to support profitability and cash flow generation; and
- Guidance is based on current accounting standards and policies.
The Company cautions that the assumptions used to prepare the guidance provided above, although currently reasonable, may prove to be incorrect or inaccurate. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from expectations as set forth above. The guidance provided above should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified by, the section Forward-Looking Information beginning on page 1 of the August 10, 2017 Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
Conference Call & Webcast
Yellow Pages Limited will hold an analyst and media call and simultaneous webcast at 8 a.m. (Eastern Time) on August 10, 2017 to discuss second quarter 2017 results. The call may be accessed by dialing 416-340-2219 within the Toronto area, or 1-800-478-9326 outside of Toronto.
The call will be simultaneously webcast on the Company’s website at: https://corporate.yp.ca/en/investors/financial-reports/.
The conference call will be archived in the Investors section of the site at: https://corporate.yp.ca/en/investors/financial-events-presentations/
A playback of the call can also be accessed between August 10 and September 10, 2017 by dialing 905-694-9451 within the Toronto area, or 1-800-408-3053 outside of Toronto and entering passcode 9131919.
About Yellow Pages Limited
Yellow Pages Limited (TSX: Y) is a Canadian digital media and marketing company that creates opportunities for buyers and sellers to discover, find, interact and transact in the local economy. Yellow Pages holds some of Canada’s leading local online properties including YP.ca™, RedFlagDeals.com™, Canada411.ca, 411.ca, Bookenda.com, dine.TO, DuProprio.com, ComFree.com and YP NextHome. The Company also holds the YP, YP Shopwise, YP Dine, RedFlagDeals, Canada411, 411, Bookenda, DuProprio, ComFree and YP NextHome mobile applications and Yellow Pages™ print directories. In addition, Yellow Pages is a leader in national advertising through its divisions devoted to servicing the marketing needs of large North American brands, including Mediative and JUICE. For more information visit www.corporate.yp.ca.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the objectives, strategies, financial conditions, results of operations and businesses of the Company. These statements are forward-looking as they are based on our current expectations, as at August 10, 2017, about our business and the markets we operate in, and on various estimates and assumptions. Our actual results could materially differ from our expectations if known or unknown risks affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. As a result, there is no assurance that any forward-looking statements will materialize. Risks that could cause our results to differ materially from our current expectations are discussed in section 6 of our August 10, 2017 Management’s Discussion and Analysis. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law, even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.
In order to provide a better understanding of the results, the Company uses the term Adjusted EBITDA, defined as income from operations before depreciation and amortization, impairment of intangible assets and restructuring and other charges. Adjusted EBITDA is not a performance measure defined under IFRS and is not considered an alternative to income from operations or net earnings in the context of measuring Yellow Pages’ performance. Adjusted EBITDA does not have a standardized meaning and is therefore not likely to be comparable to similar measures used by other publicly traded companies. Management uses Adjusted EBITDA to evaluate the performance of its business as it reflects its ongoing profitability. Management believes that certain investors and analysts use Adjusted EBITDA to measure a company’s ability to service debt and to meet other payment obligations or to value companies in the media and marketing solutions industry as well as to evaluate the performance of a business.
As well, free cash flow is a non-IFRS measure generally used as an indicator of financial performance. It should not be seen as a substitute for cash flow from operating activities. Free cash flow is defined as cash flow from operating activities, as reported in accordance with IFRS, less an adjustment for capital expenditures and change in operating assets and liabilities. Free cash flow is not a standardized measure and is not comparable with that of other public companies. Management considers free cash flow to be an important indicator of the performance of its business as it shows how much cash is available to repay debt and to make sound investment decisions. Management believes that certain investors and analysts use free cash flow to value a business and its underlying assets as well as to evaluate a company’s performance. Free cash flow for comparative periods presented has been restated to conform to this year's presentation, which includes an adjustment for change in operating assets and liabilities. The change to this measure has been made to remove the movements in working capital items to better reflect the underlying performance of the business.
Net debt is a non-IFRS measure and does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS. Therefore, it is unlikely to comparable to similar measures presented by other publicly traded companies. Net debt is defined as current portion of long-term debt plus long-term debt and exchangeable debentures, less cash. Management considers net debt to be an important indicator of its financial leverage as it represents the amount of debt that is not covered by available cash. Management believes that certain investors and analysts use net debt to determine a company’s financial leverage.
2 As at June 30