SINGAPORE — Once worth tens of millions of dollars, the fingers that did the walking now no longer have the same cachet, and so Global Yellow Pages has decided to write off a whopping S$122.3 million in goodwill on the icon and other trademarks it had acquired over the years.
This led to a net loss of S$118.1 million for the nine months to Dec 31 for Global Yellow Pages, the mainboard listed company that owns the trademarks.
Excluding the write-offs, the company would have made a net profit of S$4.8 million. Revenue fell 16 per cent from the corresponding period last year to S$26.6 million.
“We decided these trademarks do not carry the same value as the used to do when SingTel had to sell the business some years ago,” a company source said yesterday, adding that the intellectual property rights were worth S$115 million and goodwill S$59 million.
SingTel sold the trademarks to private equity companies JP Morgan Partners Asia and CVC Asia Pacific for S$220 million in 2003. Yellow Pages Singapore was listed in the following year and changed its name to Global Yellow Pages in 2009.
Global Yellow Pages Chief Executive Stanley Tan, who took control of the company in 2007, said: “The landscape of the core search business has changed materially over the last few years and as such, we have decided that it is prudent to recognise the impairment of our intangible assets. We believe the core search business has now reached a level of stability and will be supplemented by new businesses.”
There still remains some S$56.1 million in intangible assets on the books while net assets stood at S$69.3 million.
“The performance of our new venture, Singapore River Water Taxis and River Cruises, has been encouraging since the commencement of its operations in January this year and we are cautiously optimistic on the prospect of this business,” Mr Tan added.
Apart from being a multi-platform solutions provider focusing on search, Global Yellow Pages is also Singapore’s largest publisher of directories and provider of classified advertising and associated products and services. Conrad Raj