February 15, 2018 / 1:45 PM / 6 days ago

Russia's Yandex targets 25-30 pct revenue growth in 2018

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Russia’s top search site Yandex said on Thursday it expected sales growth to accelerate this year thanks to the combination of its ride-hailing business with Uber.

* Yandex, whose Yandex.Taxi unit completed the transaction with Uber this month, forecast consolidated revenues to grow in the range of 25 percent to 30 percent in 2018

* The outlook implies the consolidation of Yandex.Taxi with Uber’s operations in Russia and neighbouring countries starting from Feb. 7, Yandex said in a statement

* In 2017, the company’s revenues rose 24 percent to 94.1 billion roubles ($1.66 billion), compared with the company’s guidance for 22 percent to 23 percent growth, it said

* Fourth-quarter revenues jumped 26 percent year-on-year to 27.9 billion roubles as online advertising revenues increased 19 percent to 25.1 billion roubles

* In the same period, Yandex.Taxi’s number of rides grew 250 percent year-on-year and the unit’s quarterly revenues soared 191 percent to 2.2 billion roubles

* The company’s fourth-quarter net income was 3.5 billion roubles, rising by 189 percent from the same period of 2016 due to a smaller foreign exchange loss

* Adjusted net income rose 62 percent to 5.2 billion roubles and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 39 percent to 9.3 billion roubles

* The share of the Russian search market, including mobile, averaged 56.5 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 54.9 percent in the third

* Search share on Google’s Android in Russia was 45 percent in the final quarter of 2017, up from 41 percent in the third quarter and 37 percent in October-December 2016

* The company said its 2018 revenue forecast excluded the effect of a potential deconsolidation of Yandex.Market, after Yandex and Sberbank signed a binding agreement to form a joint venture based on Yandex’s e-commerce platform

* Yandex expects the search and portal business revenue to grow in the range of 18 percent to 20 percent in 2018 and its adjusted EBITDA margin to be largely flat versus 2017, Chief Financial and Operating Officer Greg Abovsky said ($1 = 56.6900 roubles) (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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