Golden Pages firm paid €43.6m dividend
THE IRISH company that operates the Golden Pages directories business paid a dividend of €43.6 million to its former global parent group in 2011.
This is revealed in the latest accounts for FCR Media Ltd, which runs the Golden Pages business here and publishes the national phone directory for Eircom.
The accounts detail the payment to Truvo Services and Technology BV, an entity registered in the Netherlands.
The Irish business was sold by Truvo in December 2011 to BPEF, a private equity group in Lithuania.
Truvo had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in 2010.
The Irish company changed its name on June 22nd from Truvo Ireland Ltd to FCR Media following the change of ownership. FCR has operations in six European countries.
As part of the sale, the Irish operation was released from the share charge and debenture agreements relating to the debt obligations of Truvo Services Technology BV.
The effect of this was to leave FCR debt free.
The company made a loss of €3.1 million in 2011 while its turnover declined by 29 per cent to €25.8 million.
In response to questions about current trading, FCR told The Irish Times: “We expect the company to return to profitability this year after a number of years of losses and restructuring.
“We have benefited from some significant cost savings with international suppliers through our new ownership structure.
“We have maintained our headcount at 2011 levels after a number of years of significant downsizing.
“We have stabilised the business after a number of turbulent years.”
FCR Media’s latest accounts show its print products accounted for 72 per cent of revenues in 2011, down from 77 per cent in the previous year.
The Dublin edition of the Golden Pages represented 43 per cent of its classified directory revenues last year.
Online accounted for 28 per cent of revenues, up from 23 per cent in 2010.
The company said there would be a continued focus on growing the online and mobile platforms for its products.
FCR Media incurred severance costs of €2.1 million last year as its employee headcount reduced to 150 from 214 in 2010.
Staff costs declined by 20 per cent to €9.5 million.
FCR publishes the Eircom phone book and operates the related online directory under a contract with the telco that expires in 2013.
FCR said it is in “continuing discussions” with Eircom regarding its contract and were “confident of reaching a new agreement that covers a number of years ahead”.
The company paid Eircom €15 million for the seven-year contract. In addition, it pays Eircom 10 per cent of the book’s revenues each year, subject to a minimum payment of €700,000 annually.