By John Bowker
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian internet investment group Mail.ru raised its full-year revenue growth forecast to 50 percent from 40 percent on Wednesday after sales and profit rose at its social network, online gaming and e-mail activities in the first half.
The company, which owns a little over 2 percent in Facebook, also said in a statement its full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin would be in the high 40s in percentage terms, compared with previous forecasts for mid-40s.
"For the first six months of 2011, Mail.Ru Group has significantly exceeded all key performance indicators compared to the prior period, delivering strong growth across all strategic sectors - communications, social networks and online gaming," Chief Executive and co-founder Dmitry Grishin said in the statement.
Mail.ru shares were trading 7 percent higher at $34 by 0722 GMT, up from an opening price of $31.
The company raised around $1 billion in a blockbuster initial public offering (IPO) in London last November, enjoying a share price rise of more than 30 percent on the opening day of trading.
But sluggish trading since then and a stake sale by founding shareholders have seen the stock slip back from around $37 at its peak.
That price values the firm at a discount of 54 percent to fellow Russian internet firm and search engine Yandex, according to analysts at Renaissance Capital, and 30 percent below China's Tencent.
Yandex, Russia's most-used search engine ahead of Google raised $1.4 billion in a New York IPO in May.
Mail.ru net income grew 115.5 percent in the first half to $85.6 million, while first half organic revenue growth was 59.3 percent.
The company's assets include the e-mail service that gives the company its name, Russian social network site VKontakte and several multi-player online games.
(Reporting By John Bowker; editing by Maria Kiselyova and Helen Massy-Beresford)