Yahoo to Turn Around Its Turnaround As Losses Mount

  • Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
  • Author: Tim Maytom
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yahoo marissa mayerYahoo has given strong indications that it is willing to sell its core business, saying it would consider “strategic alternatives” for its websites, email and online search functions in the wake of continuing losses in its 2015 Q4 results.

The internet veteran has said that its current plan to revamp the business and spin it off, part of the turnaround CEO Marissa Mayer has attempted since becoming Chief Executive in 2012, will continue and will likely be completed before any potential sale.

“The Board also believes that exploring additional strategic alternatives, in parallel to the execution of the management plan, is in the best interest of our shareholders,” said Maynard Webb, chairman of Yahoos board. “Separating our Alibaba stake from our operating business continues to be a primary focus, and our most direct path to value maximisation.”

Financial results for Q4 2015 and the year as a whole were disappointing but not unexpected, with Q4 revenues up 1.6 per cent year-on-year to $1.27bn (£884m) and annual revenues growing by 7.6 per cent to $5bn.

However, with the company forced to revalue its North American, European and Latin American operations, as well as writing down the value of Tumblr by $230m (which Yahoo bought in 2013 for around $1bn), the firm saw a $4.3bn loss overall for the year.

As part of the financial results, Yahoo announced a restructuring plan that will see 15 per cent of its workforce made redundant, offices in five locations closed down and the sale of some non-strategic assets including real estate and patents.

The company will focus on three main consumer platforms; Search, Mail and Tumblr, and four digital content strongholds in the form of its News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle websites. The aim is to increase mobile, video, native and social advertising revenue while also cutting operating costs. For advertisers, Yahoo hopes to define itself going forward with two main offerings, search and native platform Gemini, and Brightroll for programmatic video, display and native.

“Yahoo today is a far stronger, more modern company than the one I joined three-and-a-half years ago,” said Mayer in the companys earnings call. “Weve tripled our mobile audience to more than 600m monthly users, improved many partnerships, streamlined our data centres, hired incredible technical talent and invested widely to meet future needs.

“We knew we had a large but declining base of revenue. We knew itd be irresponsible to walk away from large streams of revenue and profits prematurely, and we knew we had to invent new businesses that were extremely fast-growing and large enough to be material. This would have meant that we would have had some amount of time where revenue was flat to down.

“However, during that period, the makeup of the revenue would change dramatically. Once the new business has become large enough youll see – begin to see the revenue from those new businesses overpower the legacy from the old, as show growth.”