Russia's Mail.Ru boosted by Yandex deal, games

Reuters

* Q3 contextual ad revenue jumps 61 pct after Yandex deal

* Aggregate rev rises 33 pct year-on-year

MOSCOW, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Russian internet group Mail.Ru reported a 33 percent rise in third-quarter revenue,helped by its search-based advertising deal with rival Yandex and booming games and social network business.

Mail.Ru, part-owned by Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov,said on Friday its revenue totalled 6.6 billion roubles ($208million) in July through September, up from 5 billion a yearago.

The company benefited from increased number of advertisersat Yandex which, under a deal reached earlier this year, sharesadvertising profits with Mail.Ru in exchange for giving Yandex'sadvertisers access to Mail.Ru's users.

Yandex, Russia's biggest search engine with a 62 percentmarket share, said on Thursday the agreement helped it to growrevenue by 40 percent in the third quarter.

Mail.Ru is Russia's third-biggest search site behind Yandexand Google.

Mail.Ru also said on Friday it expects its revenue to riseby between 27 and 29 percent in 2013, compared with last year'sgrowth of 39 percent, driven by contextual advertising andgames.

In the third quarter, revenue from contextual advertisingjumped 61 percent year-on-year. Revenue from games and paidservices for its social network users were up by 33 percent and39 percent respectively.

Mail.Ru operates two of the three largest Russian languagesocial networks, Odnoklassniki and Moi Mir. It also holdsminority stakes in Russia's top social network VKontakte and payment transfer company QIWI.

Last month, Mail.ru sold its remaining shares in socialnetwork group Facebook Inc for $525 million, making ahefty profit on its original investment and paving the way for apossible one-off payout to shareholders.

The company had a net cash position of 26 billion roubles asof Sept. 30.

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