Findexa Announces Financial Results for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2002

Oslo, NORWAY


OSLO, Norway, May 27, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Findexa Group AS: Strong EBITDA growth


 Highlights 

 -- Pro forma consolidated operating revenue at NOK 531m, up 6,6% 
    from Q1 2001 

 -- Pro forma operating expenses down 6,5% from Q1 2001 

 -- Growth in pro forma EBITDA of 22% from Q1 2001 to NOK 208m 

 -- Operational cash flow at NOK 108m for the quarter, up 61,5% from
    last year

A conference call and Webcast with investors and analysts will be held at 2:00 P.M. CET (Norwegian time) Tuesday May 28, 2002. The call is expected to last an hour including a Q&A session. To listen you may do one of the following: Webcast: Go to http://www.huginonline.no/FIND/ and click on the link to "Webcast"; Teleconference: Call +47 23 00 04 00, or from Norway 800 80 119

Findexa II AS today announced its unaudited operating and financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2002.

Commenting on Findexa's first quarter performance, Peter Darpo, Findexa's Chief Executive officer said:

"The strong EBITDA growth in the first quarter shows that we are on track on delivering according to our targets. Our focus this year is bottom line growth, capitalizing on our market positions and investments and acquisitions done previous years. Key to our success is best practices, driving customer satisfaction, productivity and operational efficiencies."

"In spite of difficult market conditions we have achieved growth for the quarter. In general the advertising market has been declining or at best status quo in our core markets. Our growth in the Norwegian market has mainly come through price increases and a significant reduction of customer complaints and credits. The latter is particularly encouraging, showing that our investment in technology through the DSMP system is paying off."

Erik Dahl, Chief Financial Officer, commented:

"The results reflect Findexa's focus on bottom line improvements. Together with Texas Pacific Group, our owners, we did last year a thorough review of our portfolio, prioritized and set the strategy and actions for future bottom line growth. The two major initiatives from last year, the closing of the Spanish operation and integration of New Media in the Norwegian operation, are now fully implemented. I am pleased to see that these and other actions materialize in reduced costs this quarter."

Financial Review

Revenue

Consolidated pro forma operational revenue increased 6,6% to NOK 531,0m from Q1 2001, with Norway +3,5% to NOK 495,9m and International +84,3% to NOK 35,2m.

In Norway the increase mainly reflects price increases as compared to prior year and a reduction in error rates or customer credits. Customer credits decreased with 32,4% from NOK 27,8m in Q1 2001 to NOK 18,8m. A slight volume decrease was experienced, reflecting a decrease in the Norwegian advertising market.

International volumes are as expected seasonally low in the first quarter. Traditionally a significant portion of International revenues will come in Q4. The growth year over year is mainly explained by Finland, which generated its first revenues second quarter of 2001, and Spain, driven by delayed directories from 2001.

EBITDA

Consolidated pro forma EBITDA was at NOK 208,2m for the quarter, which is an increase of 22,0% from Q1 2001. This strong increase is driven partly by the positive revenue development, but also by a cost reduction for the group of 6,5% for the quarter. This cost reduction is within the Norwegian organization and reflects ongoing cost reduction initiatives as well as the integration of New Media into the Norwegian operation.

The cost reduction in Norway was partly offset by increases in International operations, driven by companies acquired after Q1 2001 and by direct costs related to increased revenue as compared to prior year. In general we are experiencing a positive trend on costs in our International operations, and programs are underway to consolidate country organizations and drive further reductions.

Cash Flow

Consolidated cash flow from operating activities was NOK 108,4m, an improvement of 61,5% from Q1 2001. The increase is driven by EBITDA (pro forma) and working capital improvements, partly offset by interest and fees paid on senior loans for the period of NOK 71m.

Net change in cash and cash equivalents was NOK 96,0m, leading to a cash position at the end of the quarter at NOK 432,5m. In addition to this the company has an unused revolving credit facility of NOK 400m.

Follow this link for the complete Quarterly Report 1Q02: http://reports.huginonline.com/860581/104095.pdf

About Findexa

Findexa is a leading directory information and advertising services company. It is owned by Texas Pacific Group. Findexa operates in Norway and nine other European countries: France, Finland, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Czech Republic. In 2001, we published over 250 different directories, which were circulated in approximately 22 million copies

In Norway we are the Norwegian telecom company Telenor's official directory publisher. Our directories include well-known brands such as Gule Sider (Yellow Pages), Telefonkatalogen (White/Pink Pages), Ditt Distrikt (local directories) and BizKit (business-to-business directories). These are all distributed as printed directories, as well as through various other media, including the Internet, operator-assisted Talking Yellow Pages, CD-ROM and mobile phone-delivered short messaging service, or SMS.

Internationally Findexa has expanded significantly since 1995, organically as well as through acquisitions and partnerships. In all of our international markets, we market and publish printed classified advertising directories and offer our products in Internet based distribution media.

On March 18, 2002, the board of directors approved a resolution to transfer its international subsidiaries to a separate entity, which is controlled by Findexa LLC, our indirect parent, but is outside of the group.

The trademarks Telefonkatalogen(TM), Gule Sider(R), Ditt Distrikt(TM) and BizKit(R) belong to Findexa AS.

SEC Filing and further information

Findexa will at May 30 file its financial results together with an operating and financial review under Form 6-K with the SEC. The Form 6-K as well as an extended version of this press release may be accessed at: www.huginonline.no/FIND.



        

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