x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Mail.ru plans $899 million dividend payout after Facebook stake sale

Mail.ru Group plans to pay $899 million in special dividends next month after reducing its stake in Facebook and exiting investments in Groupon and Zynga.

Mail.ru Group, a Russian Internet provider, plans to pay US$899 million in special dividends next month after reducing its stake in Facebook and exiting investments in Groupon and Zynga.

Mail.ru, controlled by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and part-owned by China's Tencent Holdings and South Africa's Naspers, will pay investors $4.30 a share as of March 20, the Moscow-based company said in a filing.

Net income rose 37 per cent last year to 8.5 billion rubles, Mail.ru said. Profit matched the median estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue jumped 39 per cent to 21.2bn rubles, led by paid additional services in social networks and games.

The Russian company sold a stake in Facebook for about $320m in October, reducing its holding in Mark Zuckerberg's social-network operator. The stake currently stands at about 0.6 per cent, according to Mail.ru. It also fully disposed of 4.1 per cent ownership in e-commerce operator Groupon and a 1.2 per cent stake in game developer Zynga during the fourth quarter, Mail.ru said.

The Russian company said it expects revenue growth of between 25 per cent and 28 per cent this year and a margin on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in a "low fifties" percentage.

 

* Bloomberg News