A warning about intense competition in the United States caused shares in directories group Yell to dive by as much as 17% today.
The slump came as Yell – best known for Yellow Pages and Yell.com – said revenues were likely to grow by a weaker-than-expected 3% in the US during the current financial year, which runs until the end of March.
Analysts had been expecting a figure in the region of between 8% and 9%, putting pressure on profits expectations in the City today.
Shares dived by 104.5p to 508p in the first hour of trading, wiping more than £800m (€1.2bn) from the market value of the firm, which trades as the Yellow Book in the US. Yell had been worth £4.77bn (€7.03bn) at the start of trading.
Yell said that competition in the US had intensified as incumbents seek to protect their share of the market and new books are published.
Chief executive John Condron added: “In the longer term, we believe this will lead to a shake-out in the market. In the near term, though, it will impact the rate of our US organic revenue growth.”