Mail.Ru Group Limited: Preliminary Trading Statement for Fiscal Year 2011



Mail.Ru Group Limited

Preliminary Trading Statement for Fiscal Year 2011

Dubai, February 24, 2012. Mail.Ru Group Limited (LSE: MAIL, hereinafter referred as "the Company" or "the Group"), one of the largest Internet companies in the high-growth Russian-speaking Internet market, today provides the following preliminary unaudited segment financial information for the second half and full year ended 31 December 2011.

FY 2011 Highlights

u  H2 and FY 2011 Group aggregate segment revenue grew Y-o-Y 52.9% to $286.8m and Y-o-Y 58.6% to $514.9m respectively (or 59.5% and 59.4% excluding the effect of ICQ acquisition completed in July 2010). 4Q 2011 Group aggregate segment revenue grew Y-o-Y 48.4% to $161.9m

u  H2 and FY 2011 Group aggregate segment EBITDA grew Y-o-Y 153.1% to $166.3m and Y-o-Y 136.8% to $282.8m respectively

u  H2 and FY 2011 Group aggregate segment net profit grew Y-o-Y 197.7% to $122.9m and Y-o-Y 156.9% to $207.6m respectively

u  Net Cash position as of December 31, 2011 was $154.3m

u  Monthly audience(TNS Russia) of Mail.Ru portal in December 2011 reached 30.0m Russian users

–      Continued growth in social networking and instant messaging with Odnoklassniki reaching 20.8m monthly users (TNS Russia) and Agent – 22.9m monthly users

Key Product Developments in 2011

u  Active cross-product navigation launched


u  New web-interface of email service: total redesign of interface and multiple performance improvements

u  Ability to customize interface themes for email service

u  Significant improvements in Antispam System and security enhancements

u  New user support and help system; new support office in Nizhny Novgorod

Instant Messaging

u  Updates and releases of desktop and mobile clients (iOS, Android, WP7, Java, Symbian, Blackberry) of Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ

u  XMPP protocol support in major clients (PC, Android, Symbian, Java)

u  Support for easy authorization in Odnoklassniki (OK) and VKontakte (VK)

u  Server-based interoperability between Agent and ICQ

Social Networks

u  My World and OK profiles linking for users (opt-in)

u  Simultaneous posting in OK for MyWorld users

u  New OK design – better user experience

u  OK launched video service and video chat, supporting Web and iPhone

u  Releases / updates of iPhone, Android, WP7 applications

Online Games

u  Relaunched portal to become the largest MMO gaming portal in Runet

u  Launched games downloader GameCenter@Mail.Ru – unified channel of games distribution

u  16 new games launched, including MMO, social and mobile games

Search and E-commerce

u  Release of search app for iPhone and new mobile version of search

u  Introduction of “quick facts” box appearing in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) upon certain search queries such as weather forecast, currency exchange, etc.

Rabota@Mail.Ru (jobs vertical) integrated with Headhunter

Commenting on the results of the Group, Dmitry Grishin, co-founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group, said:

In 2011 we continued to focus on integrating and improving of our products.

We launched active cross-product navigation to enable our users to see active activity alerts off the current page. Our e-mail service has been fully redesigned, including AJAX interface, customized themes, antispam improvements and security enhancements. We introduced interoperability between Agent and ICQ, and support for authorization between instant messengers and social networks to connect with friends. Odnoklassniki continued to gain share of users in the Russian-speaking market, reaching 20.8m monthly users in December 2011 (TNS Russia) and 26.7m global daily users (Liventernet). We significantly advanced OK product in 2011, including full site redesign, launch of video and music service, events and video chat. In an effort to further integrate social graphs, we also offered users linking their profiles in My World and OK and ability to cross-post status updates, photos and other events between the two social networks. Improvements drove significant increase in engagement – OK y-o-y daily user growth in December 2011 was at 32% (TNS Russia). Our online gaming business remained a clear leader in the Russian market despite increasing competition. We launched 16 new games across all segments – MMO (client & browser), social and mobile. Our core games including Allods and Perfect World demonstrated continued growth while some of the more recent releases have yet to gain scale. In 2012, we intend to focus on quality, rather than quantity of the games, including launch of major gaming titles we licensed for Russian speaking territories as well as further international releases of Allods Online.

Mobile has become one of the major drivers of our user growth. Approximately 43% of Mail.Ru Agent monthly users are accessing the service from their mobile devices, as well as 34% of our OK monthly users. The mobile user growth is exceeding that of PC in our key products and we keep focusing on upgrading mobile versions of our key products (E-mail, Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ, OK and My World, Search) across platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Java, Symbian).

We continue to invest in our people and their development. We started working with several major Russian universities (Bauman State Technical University and St. Petersburg ITMO) on student development centers. In Q4 2011, we entered into a new lease agreement for Class A building in Moscow in order to accommodate further expansion and attract the best engineers.

The structural drivers of our business remain unchanged and as a result we enter 2012 with confidence.  Thus we expect full-year 35% y-o-y constant currency revenue growth and aggregate segment EBITDA margin around 50%.

Conference call

The Mail.Ru Group management team will host an analyst and investor conference call at 13.00 GMT UK time (17.00 Moscow time, 08.00 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time), on Friday 24 February 2012, to discuss details of the Company’s performance for the full year ended 31 December 2011 and certain forward-looking information. The conference call will include a Question and Answer session.

To participate in this conference call, please use the following access details:

Confirmation Code: 2390495

Participant Toll Free Telephone Numbers:  

From Russia 8 800 500 9311

From the UK 0800 279 4977

From the US 1877 280 2342

Investor Relations Contacts:

Matthew Hammond

Managing Director Mail.Ru Group

Phone: +971 505 56 1315 / +44 7711 624 679


Larisa Millings / Emma Appleton

FTI Consulting

Phone: +44 (0)20 7831 3113


Press Contacts:

Ksenia Chabanenko

PR Director Mail.Ru Group (Russia)

Phone: +7 495 725 6359 / +7 916 090 6626


Cautionary Statement regarding Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains statements of expectation and other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of the Group. You can identify forward looking statements by terms such as "expect", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "forecast", "intend", "will", "could", "may" or "might",  the negative of such terms or other similar expressions including "outlook" or "guidance".  The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon various assumptions that are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and may be beyond the Group's control.  Actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward looking statements herein.  Many factors  could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward looking statements included herein, including competition in the marketplace, changes in consumer preferences, the degree of Internet penetration and online advertising in Russia, concerns about data security, claims of intellectual property infringement, adverse media speculation, changes in political, social, legal or economic conditions in Russia, exchange rate fluctuations, and the Group's success in identifying and responding to these and other risks involved in its business, including those referenced under "Risk Factors" in the Group's public filings.  The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date they were made, and the Group does not intend to amend or update these statements except to the extent required by law to reflect events and circumstances occurring after the date hereof.

About Mail.Ru Group

Mail.Ru Group (founded in 1998) is a leading Internet company in the high-growth Russian-speaking Internet markets (Russia is today Europe's the largest Internet market measured by number of users, ComScore, September 2011). Mail.Ru Group's sites reach approximately 84 per cent of Russian Internet users on a monthly basis (ComScore, December 2011) and the Company is the world's fifth largest Internet business, based on page views (ComScore, December 2011).

Having the Communitainment (Communications + Entertainment) strategy the Company is moving rapidly to build an integrated communication and entertainment platform.  The Company operates two of the three (TNS, December 2011) largest Russian language online social networking sites (Odnoklassniki and Moi Mir (or "My World")). The Company also operates the two largest Instant Messaging ("IM") networks in Russia (Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ), Russia's leading email service and Russia's second largest Internet portal (based on daily and monthly unique users, TNS, December 2011), and the Company operates Russia's largest online games platform.

The Company holds strategic minority equity stakes in VKontakte (a 39.99 per cent stake) and Qiwi, formerly OE Investments (21.35 per cent interest). The Company also holds small minority stakes in international Internet companies including Facebook, Zynga and Groupon as well as a number of small venture capital investments in various Internet companies in Russia and Ukraine.

Group aggregate segment financial information a

USD MM 2H 2010 2H 2011 FY 2010 FY 2011

Group aggregate segment revenue (1)        

Display advertising 58.7 89.7 94.5 148.5

Context advertising 21.0 31.2 32.9 57.2

Total online advertising 79.8 120.8 127.4 205.7

MMO games 55.3 65.7 99.8 129.4

Community IVAS 32.9 72.2 64.3 126.7

Total IVAS 88.3 138.0 164.0 256.1

Other revenue (*) 19.5 28.0 33.4 53.1

Total Group aggregate segment revenue 187.6 286.8 324.7 514.9

Revenue growth (%)   52.9%   58.6%

Group aggregate segment EBITDA (2) 65.7 166.3 119.4 282.8

EBITDA profitability (%) 35.0% 58.0% 36.8% 54.9%

Depreciation and amortisation (3) -14.5 -21.8 -23.5 -38.9

Share of net profit (loss) of equity associates (4) 4.8 5.8 11.5 11.7

Other non-operating income (expense), net 3.7 5.0 3.6 7.2

Profit before income tax (5) 59.8 155.3 111.0 262.9

Income tax expense (6) -18.5 -32.4 -30.2 -55.2

Group aggregate net profit (7) 41.3 122.9 80.8 207.6

Net profitability 22.0% 42.9% 24.9% 40.3%

[a]  The numbers in this table and further in the document may not exactly foot or cross-foot due to rounding

(*) Including Other IVAS revenues

(1)           Group aggregate segment revenue is calculated by aggregating the segment revenue of the Group’s operating segments and eliminating intra-segment and inter-segment revenues. This measure differs in significant respects from IFRS consolidated net revenue. This information may also differ from the proportionate core revenue presented in the operating segments notes to the interim consolidated financial statements of the Group as of and for the six months ended 30 June 2010. See "Presentation of Segment Financial Information." Group aggregate segment revenue numbers for the periods after July 2010 include the revenues of ICQ.

(2)           Group aggregate segment EBITDA is calculated by subtracting Group aggregate segment operating expenses from Group aggregate segment revenue. Group aggregate segment operating expenses are calculated by aggregating the segment operating expenses (excluding the depreciation and amortisation) of the Group’s operating segments with Group corporate expenses and eliminating intra-segment and inter-segment expenses.  Prior to the Group IPO in November 2010 the Group Corporate expenses included an advisory fee paid to DST Advisors (“DSTA”).  Group aggregate segment EBITDA includes ICQ EBITDA from the date of acquisition.

(3)           Group aggregate depreciation and amortization expense is calculated by aggregating the depreciation and amortisation expense of the subsidiaries consolidated as of the date hereof, excluding amortization and impairment of fair value adjustments to intangible assets acquired in business combinations.

(4)           Group share of net profit from associates includes the Group's share of net profit from and Qiwi as calculated based on the ownership percentage as of the date hereof (i.e. 39.99% and 21.35%, respectively). Group share of net profit from associates as presented herein differs in significant respects from Group share of net profit from associates as would be recorded under IFRS due to: (i) difference in the ownership percentages as under IFRS the actual ownership would be used for each reporting period and (ii) differences in net profit of associates as the numbers presented herein are prepared based on principles used for the segment financial information ofthe Group’s consolidated operations, i.e. do not include certain adjustments which would be required under IFRS. See "Presentation of Segment Financial Information."

(5)           Profit before tax is calculated by deducting from Group aggregate segment EBITDA Group aggregate depreciation and amortisation and adding (i) Group share of net profit from associates and adding/deducting (ii) Group aggregate other non-operating incomes/expenses primarily consisting of interest income on cash deposits, dividends from financial and available for sale investments, release of certain accruals and other non-operating items.

(6)           Group aggregate income tax expense is calculated by aggregating the income tax expense of the subsidiaries consolidated as of the date hereof. Group aggregate income tax expense is different from income tax as would be recorded under IFRS, as (i) it excludes deferred tax on unremitted earnings of the Group’s subsidiaries and associates and (ii) it is adjusted for the tax effect of differences in profit before tax between Group aggregate segment financial information and IFRS.

(7)           Group aggregate segment net profit is the (i) Group aggregate segment EBITDA; less (ii) Group aggregate depreciation and amortisation expense; plus (iii) Group share of net profit from associates; less (iv) Group aggregate other non-operating expense; plus (v) Group aggregate other non-operating income; less (vi) Group aggregate income tax expense. Group aggregate segment net profit differs in significant respects from IFRS consolidated net profit.  See "Presentation of Segment Financial Information." Group aggregate segment net profit includes the impact of ICQ for the periods after July 2010.

Key Performance Indicators

Millions Dec-10 Jun-11 Dec-11 portal, monthly unique users, TNS 27.2 27.5 30.0 portal, daily unique users, TNS 13.9 13.6 15.7


Email monthly unique users, TNS 22.7 22.9 24.5

Email daily unique users, TNS 10.9 10.3 11.5
 Agent global monthly users 18.7 21.0 22.9

ICQ global monthly users 33.5 30.8 27.0

ICQ Russia monthly users 16.4 15.6 15.7


My World monthly unique users, TNS 19.5 18.6 20.2

My World daily unique users, TNS 5.3 4.7 4.9

Odnoklassniki monthly unique users, TNS 17.4 18.0 20.8

Odnoklassniki daily unique users, TNS 7.2 7.8 9.4

  2H 2010 1H 2011 2H 2011

MMO games, average monthly paying users, thousands 192 227 241

Note: All TNS data is Russia only and does not include users from other countries. portal includes 34 projects. Agent, ICQ and MMO Games is internal Company data. ICQ users include unaffiliated.


During 2011, Group aggregate capital expenditure was $45.5m. As at 31 December 2011, the Group's net cash balance was $154.3m and the Group had no outstanding debt.

Group aggregate capital expenditure is calculated by aggregating the capital expenditures of all subsidiaries consolidated as of the date hereof, excluding intercompany capital expenditures.

GDR buying programme

As announced on 25th October 2011 the Group undertook a GDR buying programme during Q4 2011. The programme is up to $35m. During Q4 2011 the Group spent $20.5m buying 651,534 GDR’s at an average price of $31.5. The Group expects to complete the programme in H1 2012. All the GDR’s bought will be held by the employee benefit trust to be used over the lifetime of the option programme.

Release of IFRS Financial Statements

A full statement and presentation of the Group's 2011 IFRS results will be made in April 2012. Further details of the time and location of the presentation will be provided before that date.

The financial data presented herein is preliminary, it has neither been reviewed nor audited by the Group's independent auditor and the Group's independent auditor has not yet completed audit procedures in respect of the 2011 financial information. Management is still in the process of finalising the financial data including reviewing the period-end adjustments, accruals, revenue recognition and several other accounting areas. Segment financial information included in the Group's 2011 IFRS financial statements may differ in significant respects from the information included herein.

Change of Non-Executive Director

Charles Searle, previously an Observer on Group’s Board of Directors, replaced Hein Pretorius as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 16 February 2012.

Amendments to the Shareholders' agreement of Qiwi Limited

Pursuant to the Articles of Association of Group a written resolution approving amendments to the Shareholders’ agreement relating to Qiwi Limited has been passed by members of the Company holding shares which represent at least 75% of the total number of votes attached to the issued and outstanding shares.The resolution has been filed on the National Storage Mechanism appointed by the Financial Services Authority and can be accessed at

Presentation of Segment Financial Information

The Group aggregate segment financial information is derived from the financial information used by management to manage the Group's business by aggregating the segment financial data of the Group’s operating segments and eliminating intra-segment and inter-segment revenues and expenses.  Group aggregate segment financial information differs significantly from the financial information presented on the face of the Group's consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS. This information may also differ from the data presented in the operating segments notes to the consolidated financial statements of the Group as of and for the years ended 31 December 2010 and to the interim consolidated financial statements of the Group as of and for the six months ended 30 June 2010. In particular:

  • The Group's segment financial information excludes items that management believes obscure the core operating performance of the business, including IFRS adjustments principally affecting major areas including but not limited to: online gaming and social network revenue deferral, certain accruals, deferred taxation, share-based payments, business combinations, fair value adjustments, amortization and impairment charges related thereto.
  • The segment financial information is presented for each period on the basis of an ownership interest as of the date hereof and consolidation of each of the Group's subsidiaries, including for periods prior to the acquisition of control of the entities in question, so long as the Group held at least one share of such entities during such periods.
  • Segment revenues do not reflect certain other adjustments required when presenting consolidated revenues under IFRS. For example, segment revenue excludes barter revenues and adjustments to defer online gaming and social network revenues under IFRS.

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