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UPDATE 2-Russia's Yandex lifts revenue outlook as e-commerce booms

* Sees full-year revenues of 315-330 bln roubles

* Previous forecast was 305-320 bln roubles

* Q1 ad revenues less than 50% of total for first time (Adds advertising share, management comments)

MOSCOW, April 28 (Reuters) - Russian internet giant Yandex raised its 2021 revenue forecast on Wednesday as strong growth in newer business areas such as e-commerce and food delivery pushed advertising’s share of group revenues below 50% for the first time.

Yandex’s advertising and search business, still the driving force of its profits, has recovered from a hit during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. But its revenue growth has been outpaced by the newer business areas as more people switched to online shopping during lockdowns to control the virus.

The company, which plans to spend $400-500 million on an e-commerce drive this year, said it now expected full-year revenues of 315-330 billion roubles ($4.2-4.4 billion), up from 305-320 billion roubles previously.

First-quarter revenue, which now includes the Yandex.Market e-commerce venture, jumped 39% year-on-year to 73.1 billion roubles, helped by 18% growth at the group’s core search business.

Online ad revenues grew 12% and made up 49.2% of total revenues.

At 1432 GMT, Yandex shares in Moscow were up 2.1% on the day, at their highest since April 13 and returning close to levels seen before Russia’s competition watchdog announced proceedings against Yandex over alleged search engine competition violations, which it denies.

Adjusted net income fell 43% to 2.2 billion roubles in the quarter, a drop Yandex attributed to continuing investments in its fast growing, but often still loss-making, new businesses.

Revenue in the taxi business, which includes ride-hailing arm Yandex.Taxi, jumped 89% to 26.6 billion roubles, helped by increased demand during extreme weather conditions in January and February.

Rapid growth in logistics and a strong performance in food tech services, such as e-grocery service Yandex.Lavka, also contributed to growth in the taxi business, said Vadim Marchuk, vice president of corporate development.

The gross merchandise value (GMV) of all Yandex’s e-commerce operations leapt 186% year-on-year to 24.7 billion roubles, a metric Deputy CEO Tigran Khudaverdyan said Yandex planned to increase by 2.5 times in 2021.

$1 = 74.8075 roubles Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Mark Potter

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