July 26, 2019 / 12:24 PM / 4 months ago

Russia's Yandex lifts 2019 revenue growth guidance to 32-36%

MOSCOW, July 26 (Reuters) - Russian internet firm Yandex on Friday raised its 2019 revenue growth guidance for a second time after a strong second quarter boosted by its taxi and ride-sharing businesses.

The company, widely known as "Russia's Google" for its array of online services, now sees revenue growing 32-36%, up from the 30-34% forecast in April.

Second quarter revenue excluding Yandex.Market grew 41% year-on-year to 41.4 billion roubles ($655.32 million).

Revenue related to Yandex's Taxi segment jumped 116% and accounted for 21% of total revenues, driven by an increase in rides and optimisation of incentives, the company said. The business unit became profitable in the quarter with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 423 million roubles.

In July, Yandex's joint venture with Uber agreed to buy rival taxi firm Vezet's core business, further cementing Yandex's role as a major online taxi operator in Russia and neighbouring countries.

Yandex's adjusted net income rose 31% year-on-year to 6.9 billion roubles. The group said non-core businesses contributed one-third of consolidated revenues in the quarter.

On Friday, Yandex's Moscow-listed shares were up 2.4% by 1120 GMT having closed 1.8% lower on Thursday after Sberbank and Mail.ru said they would set up a rival to Yandex.Taxi.

"We are used to working in a competitive environment with global and local players," Yandex Deputy Chief Executive Tigran Khudaverdyan said after the Sberbank, Mail.ru deal. ($1 = 63.1750 roubles) (Reporting by Anna Rzhevkina; additional reporting by Nadezhda Tsydenova Editing by Katya Golubkova and Kirsten Donovan)

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