Tech giants Q2 results point to economic recovery

The Bell

State-owned banking giant Sberbank and internet giants Yandex and are leading the market in developing their own ‘ecosystems’ covering everything from banking and fintech to ridesharing, driverless cars, artificial intelligence, food delivery, virtual assistants and media streaming. We had a look at their second quarter results to see how they’re doing — and what their numbers suggest about the state of the economy as a whole.

  • YANDEX. After reporting strong Q2 results, Yandex announced it was upping its e-commerce investment plan for this year to about $650 million. Its results showed that volumes for its e-commerce businesses jumped 155 percent compared to the same period last year, while strong growth in new areas like food delivery pushed the share of advertising in their total revenue below 50 percent for the second successive quarter.
  • MAIL.RU. Offering mostly online communication products and entertainment services, reported a net loss in the second quarter — mainly due to the performance of its joint ventures. The company’s revenues grew 17 percent year-on-year to 22 billion rubles.
  • SBERBANK. The banking giant made 41.1 billion rubles in the second quarter from non-financial activities (including e-commerce, taxi services, an online cinema and food delivery). This means that, in the first six months of 2021, Sberbank’s non-financial businesses generated more revenue than all of last year. Overall, Sberbank posted record quarterly results and is planning to hit 1 trillion rubles in net profit this year (a pre-pandemic target it missed in 2020). To achieve this, it needs Russia’s economic recovery to continue (Sberbank expects the economy to expand 4.2 percent this year, the IMF projects 4.4 percent).

Why the world should care: Boosted by last year’s lockdowns, e-commerce is increasingly becoming a Russian success story. Some of the most popular services — like Yandex’s online grocery delivery — have already launched outside of Russia.


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