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UPDATE 1-Russia's Yandex to spend $400-500 mln on e-commerce in 2021 after profit rise

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Alexander Marrow and Nadezhda Tsydenova
·2 min read
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(Adds quotes, detail)

By Alexander Marrow and Nadezhda Tsydenova

MOSCOW, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Russia's Yandex, whichon Tuesday reported a 2% rise in 2020 net profit, plans to spend$400 million-$500 million on an e-commerce push this year tohelp annual revenue reach 305-320 billion roubles ($4.1-4.3billion), its finance chief said.

Yandex's core advertising business took a hit during theearly stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, but surging interest inonline transactions allowed other segments of its business toflourish, including food delivery and e-commerce, whose grossmerchandise volume (GMV) increased by 127% in the fourthquarter.

Greg Abovsky, Chief Financial Officer of Yandex, Russia'stop internet company, said the company expected growth tocontinue in services that benefited from the pandemic, such asmedia services, food delivery logistics and e-commerce.

Abovsky said Yandex would invest "meaningfully" in 2021 inits businesses related to e-commerce, including Yandex.Market,grocery delivery Yandex.Lavka and the grocery portion of itsfood delivery service Yandex.Eats.

"We are looking to spend $400-500 million across the variouse-commerce initiatives that we have at Yandex," he said.

Combined GMV for those three businesses was 24 billionroubles in 2020, nearly five times higher than the year before,said Daniil Shuleyko, Yandex.Taxi CEO.

"This makes Yandex one of the biggest, if not the biggestplayer on the e-grocery market in Russia," Shuleyko said.

Yandex's adjusted net income stood at 28.5 billion roubleslast year, excluding its Yandex.Market e-commerce venture.

Revenues were up 39% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of2020, contributing to a 24% increase in consolidated revenuesfor the full year compared with 2019.

The company's taxi segment, which includes its ride-hailingarm Yandex.Taxi, grew 49% in 2020 and its revenues of 68 billionroubles accounted for 31% of the company's total, the companysaid.

Abovsky said an initial public offering for Yandex.Taxi wasnot on the agenda. Before the pandemic, back in 2019, twosources told Reuters an offering was expected in the first halfof 2020.

($1 = 73.6800 roubles)(Editing by Katya Golubkova and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)