SoLocal Group: Additional provision concerning the possible consequences of court decisions regarding the 2013 Employment Safeguard Plan

SÈVRES, France--()--Regulatory News:

SoLocal Group (Paris:LOCAL) recorded in its 2015 consolidated accounts the exceptional impact of the Court decisions invalidating the approval by the French labor inspectorate (DIRECCTE) of the Employment Safeguard Plan of PagesJaunes SA that had been approved by a majority of representative trade unions late 2013.

This additional provision is -€35 million and is booked in the 2015 consolidated accounts. This amount reflects a prudent assumption in a highly uncertain legal context, which has been reinforced by recent contradictory decisions from the labor tribunals. Many recourses have been initiated by Solocal Group to dispute these decisions. Nevertheless, the current procedures and the legal uncertainty created by this situation required the Group to recognise an additional provision in its 2015 consolidated accounts.

SoLocal Group notes that this ruling was purely based on a matter of form concerning the signature of the trade union representative rather than on the underlying content of the Employment Safeguard Plan. The Group confirms that this ruling does not result in cancelling the announced staff redundancies, nor does it threaten the company’s new organisation.

Background of the dispute:

  • An Employment Safeguard Plan was implemented to allow the reorganisation of the company PagesJaunes SA and manage the contract change from sales representative to sales executive. Following several months of an intense social dialogue within the company, the Plan was approved late 2013 by a majority of representative trade unions.
  • 280 sales representatives decided to refuse these changes and left the company. This did not intend to cut jobs, this is why they have been replaced by a greater number of new sales positions. To cover the cost of these departures, Solocal Group recorded in its consolidated accounts for 2013 and 2014 -€52 million of provisions.
  • In 2014, SoLocal Group took note of the decision of the administrative Court of appeal of Versailles to cancel the validation by DIRECCTE of the Employment Safeguard Plan implemented by its subsidiary PagesJaunes SA in 2013. This decision was motivated by the finding that the mandate exercised for more than 10 years by one of the representatives Union signatories of the agreement had not been formally renewed by his trade union organization the day after the elections of 2010. However, according to the administrative Court of appeal, this non-renewal questioned the character of the majority of the Employment Safeguard Plan agreement, what the DIRRECTE should have checked before making a decision. The Council of state confirmed this interpretation in its decision of July 22, 2015.

About SoLocal Group

SoLocal Group, the European market leader in local online communication, provides digital content, advertising solutions and transactional services that simply connect people with local businesses. The Group employs some 4,400 people (including nearly 1,900 local communication advisors) in France, Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom and supports the online development of SMB and major client accounts, mainly through its four flagship brands: PagesJaunes, Mappy, Ooreka and A Vendre A Louer. Over the years, SoLocal Group has earned the trust of some 530,000 Internet clients. In 2015, SoLocal Group generated revenues of 873 million euros, of which Internet business accounted for 73%, making it a European market leader in terms of online advertising revenues. SoLocal Group is listed on Euronext Paris (LOCAL). More information may be obtained at www.solocalgroup.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Although SoLocal Group feels that its estimates are based upon assumptions which we believe to be reasonable, these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in said forward-looking statements. For a discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of SoLocal Group to differ from those contained in the forward-looking, please refer to the "Risk factors" section of the "Document de Référence" filed with the French financial markets authority (AMF) and available on the Internet sites of the AMF (www.amf-france.org) and of SoLocal Group (www.solocalgroup.com). Accounting data represented on an annual basis in audited consolidated form and on an quarterly basis in unaudited consolidated form.

Contacts

SoLocal Group
Press
Delphine Penalva, +33 (0)1 46 23 35 31
dpenalva@solocal.com
or
Edwige Druon, +33 (0)1 46 23 37 56
edruon@solocal.com
or
Investors
Elsa Cardarelli, +33 (0)1 46 23 40 92
ecardarelli@solocal.com

Contacts

SoLocal Group
Press
Delphine Penalva, +33 (0)1 46 23 35 31
dpenalva@solocal.com
or
Edwige Druon, +33 (0)1 46 23 37 56
edruon@solocal.com
or
Investors
Elsa Cardarelli, +33 (0)1 46 23 40 92
ecardarelli@solocal.com