Sol Trujillo, CEO of Australian telecom Telstra, was quoted in a June 24 article in The Australian as saying that Sensis, Telstra’s search, directory and classified business, "basically is on track" to meet its target of doubling revenues by 2010.
Trujillo’s statement comes as some financial analysts in Australia are beginning to question whether the goal can be reached, at least without acquisitions.
One factor cited by the skeptics is the recent growth in competition in local search from Google, MSN and local media companies. These entities are launching local search sites in Australia that compete with Sensis’ sensis.com.au site or with the company’s Trading Post classified unit.
Trujillo maintains that Sensis’ great advantage is the depth of its content and its uniquely Australian nature. However, the company is now attracting competition in local search from Australian companies that will no doubt attempt similar claims.
Sensis continues to have a formidable content and sales platform, but it will have to fight harder to achieve its aggressive objectives.
I was in Australia recently visiting with the Sensis team. Most of the meetings were off the record, but I did sit for a formal interview with CEO Bruce Akhurst, which we will write about in this week’s Local Media Journal.