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UPDATE 1-Israel's Wix.com raises sales forecasts as losses narrow

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JERUSALEM May 10 Wix.com, which helps small businesses build and operate websites, reported a jump in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday and a smaller loss, prompting the Israeli firm to raise its sales forecast for 2017.

It reported a quarterly loss of 18 cents a share excluding one-off items, compared with a loss of 30 cents per share a year earlier while revenue jumped 50 percent to $92.5 million.

Wix, whose Nasdaq-listed shares have surged 66 percent so far in 2017 to $74.15 after a 96 percent jump last year, was forecast to lose 14 cents a share excluding items on revenue of $90.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"In light of the first-quarter results, and in light of the great momentum we see in our business we decided raise the outlook," Chief Financial Officer Lior Shemesh told Reuters.

Its new 2017 revenue forecast is $421 million to $423 million, up from an earlier estimate of $417 million to $419 million, or an increase of 45 percent to 46 percent. In the second quarter it expects sales of $101 million to $102 million.

Wix offers basic features for setting up websites for free but users must pay for extra services such as shopping carts, individual web addresses and site traffic analysis.

During the quarter it added 5.9 million registered users giving it a total of 103 million globally. Of that, it added 208,000 paid subscribers to reach 2.7 million.

President Nir Zohar said Wix also plans to launch a closed beta version of a new platform-wide product in June.

"It will be a very significant product, though we cannot share details at this point," he said. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; editing by David Clarke)

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