For the quarter ending March 31, 2013, the Company recorded net earnings of $53.5 million. For the same period last year, the Company recorded a net loss of $2.9 billion as a result of a goodwill impairment charge, net of taxes, of $2.9 billion. Net earnings before the goodwill impairment charge, net of taxes, were of $54.9 million for the first quarter of 2012. The decrease is due primarily to lower EBITDA, partly offset by a lower depreciation and amortization expense and lower financial charges.
For the quarter ending March 31, 2013, the Company recorded basic net earnings per share of $1.91, which compares to basic net earnings per share of $1.77 before the goodwill impairment charge, net of taxes, for the first quarter of 2012.
Delivering Value to Advertisers through the Yellow Pages 360 degrees Solution
The Yellow Pages 360 degrees Solution directly addresses the need of many businesses for a comprehensive, single-source marketing service provider. By offering dedicated access to online, mobile and print media platforms, managed website services, customized search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and Yellow Pages Analytics, the Yellow Pages 360 degrees Solution makes agency-level solutions accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.
As at March 31, 2013, the penetration of our 360 degrees Solution offering among our advertiser base, which we define as advertisers who purchase three product categories or more, grew to 18.9%. This compares to 7.9% at the end of the same period last year.
During the first quarter of 2013, Google selected Yellow Pages Group ("YPG") as a Canadian Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner. Partners in the Premier Google AdWords SMB Partner Program are required to meet the highest standards of excellence for qualification, training and customer service. They must also have a strong knowledge of the local search marketing landscape and experience working with small and medium-sized businesses. Obtaining the certification as a Canadian Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner further reinforces the Company's positioning in the digital marketplace and its ability to offer valuable products and services to its network of advertisers.
Continued Growth in Mobile
Mobile remains a growing component of the Yellow Pages 360 degrees Solution product suite. As at March 31, 2013, the Company had approximately 26,200 advertisers purchasing mobile products, representing approximately 49,800 mobile units.
During the first quarter of 2013, our mobile placement product construct was integrated across the ShopWise mobile platform, further increasing the exposure of our advertisers' business listings across our network of mobile applications. The ShopWise mobile application, which now includes a product catalogue featuring over seven million items and a list of 600 local and national retailers, was also chosen by the Local Search Association as the New App Gold Award Winner at the 2013 Industry Excellence Awards.
Differentiated Offering for Larger, High-Spend Advertisers
In order to optimize revenues from our larger, high-spend advertisers, the Company has in place a differentiated product and servicing model known as PriorityPlus (previously called the High Priority Accounts management process). A comprehensive profiling methodology, which includes the review of Yellow Pages Analytics results, website audits and competitive rankings, search engine marketing estimates, and social media and search engine reviews, is currently in place for these advertisers. Various premium digital products are also available, and include:
-- Digital PowerPlay, which establishes and optimizes a business' digital presence by determining the necessary steps to maximize qualified leads across various digital channels while offering the highest level of service and support;-- SEM TouchPoint, which provides a customized paid-search ad campaign inclusive of unique access to a dedicated SEM expert and in-depth performance reporting; and-- Web Prestige, a fully customizable and dedicated website service offering which includes enhanced features such as unlimited web pages, richer design and content, and e-commerce capabilities.