Russia's Yandex ups revenue forecast after Google settlement

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 27, 2017 7:23 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's largest internet group Yandex <YNDX.O> on Thursday raised its sales outlook for the year after settling a dispute with Google <GOOGL.O> over product distribution on the U.S. company's Android operating system.

Google announced a deal with Yandex and Russia's competition watchdog on April 17, pledging to stop requiring manufacturers of Android-based devices to pre-install its search engine and other applications.

Yandex expects the settlement to "open the door to market share gains on mobile (devices) in 2017 and beyond," Chief Executive Arkady Volozh said in a statement.

Yandex is the largest internet search engine in Russia, but has struggled to increase its share of this market on mobile devices, most of which use Android.

The company now expects 2017 revenue growth of between 17 and 20 percent, having predicted in February an increase of 16 -19 percent.

Its first-quarter revenue jumped 25 percent year on year to 20.7 billion roubles ($364.2 million), it said, adding that its online taxi booking service was a major growth driver with sales up 75 percent.

Net income was down 23 percent to 0.8 billion roubles due to a 2.2 billion rouble foreign exchange loss, while adjusted net income rose 18 percent to 3.7 billion roubles.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 19 percent to 6.9 billion roubles.

The company also said its cash pile stood at 61.4 billion roubles as of March 31.

Yandex said in February it did not rule out that its board of directors could discuss a possibility of a maiden dividend payout at one of its meetings this year.

The company's share of the Russian search market, including mobile, was flat year on year at 55.4 percent.

($1 = 56.8385 roubles)

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova. Editing by Jane Merriman)