Yell targets local search

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Yell looks to bounce back

Yell has set its sights on capturing the local online search market after posting disappointing financial results.

In the nine months to the end of 2010, the directory service's total revenues were down 11.8 per cent to £1.4 billion. The company's shares hit their lowest level since listing in July 2003 on the back of the results. However, digital media revenue climbed 10.4 per cent to £342.2 million and now accounts for more than a quarter of the group's whole income.

Local search dominance

Following publication of the results, Yell chief executive Michael Pocock revealed his ambition to dominate "local search" as part of a major corporate restructuring. He told the Guardian that the company enjoys distinct advantages over its rivals, which he said included Google, Groupon and Yahoo. As an example, he identified the fact that none of these companies maintain an outside sales force.

"Is it too late? No way," he added. "There is a lot of opportunity for us to keep the position we have enjoyed for years in print. We have to become more relevant in digital media. We are moving, we just have to have a more robust, well thought through strategic plan."

In related news, Yell has just appointed a new group chief operating officer. Mark Payne was formerly worldwide operations vice president of Linksys, the home networking department of Cisco Systems. He will be responsible for a range of day-to-day roles, including information technology.