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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

U.S., EU Earnings Round-Up, First-Half 2002
Charles Laughlin , 8/22/2002

Issue: First-Half Revenues Show Impact of Economy, Competition

News: For the first six months of 2002, large telecom-affiliated Yellow Pages publishers in the United States grew by a negligible amount, as the struggling economy combined with growing competitive challenges to soften revenue results. In Europe, the situation was somewhat better. The publicly traded Yellow Pages organizations reporting first-half results thus far posted revenue gains of roughly 6 percent before factoring out acquisitions and publication schedule changes.

These results do not paint a complete picture of the industry, as results from smaller, closely held publishers were not available. However, the numbers do suggest that organic growth in the core Yellow Pages directory was negligible in most markets through the first half of 2002, suggesting an even more urgent need to innovate both in the core product and the full range of online or non-print opportunities.

Among Internet-based companies, results were more mixed. Online directory player suffered a from a slower-than-expected roll-out of its relationship with America Online.

Meanwhile, pay-for-placement player Overture Services saw its revenues grow by 144 percent in the second quarter, to US$152.2 million (first-half revenues were US$295.3 million). This growth occurred although the number of paid ads declined from the first to the second quarter of 2002.

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