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Reuters: Russia's Ozon sees 144% jump in trade in first post-IPO results

Ozon on Tuesday reported a 144% jump in 2020 gross merchandise volume (GMV) to 197.4 billion roubles ($2.6 billion) in the Russian online retailer's first results since listing on the Nasdaq.

Ozon, which uses couriers, pickup points and parcel lockers to run one of Russia's largest e-commerce platforms, said it handled 73.9 million orders, up 132%.

It said it expects GMV - a measure of online transactions - to grow by around 90% this year with capital expenditure of 20-25 billion roubles.

"Ozon already had the opportunity to become profitable in 2020, but we decided to continue investing in logistics infrastructure, IT and new business initiatives," Chief Financial Officer Igor Gerasimov was quoted as saying by the company's media service.

"The Russian e-commerce market is still small; according to analysts' estimates its share in total retail turnover is less than 10%. It is clear the market is expecting significant growth and in order to take significant market share, investments at scale are needed."

Ozon posted a loss of 11.7 billion roubles in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), narrowing a loss of 15.8 billion the year earlier.

Free cash flow stood at minus 2.6 billion roubles, up from minus 19.9 billion roubles in 2019.

Online retailers have benefited from increased demand during lockdowns and coronavirus-related restrictions.

That helped Ozon launch a successful initial public offering (IPO) late last year.

Ozon is well positioned to increase its e-commerce market share in Russia to 19% in 2025 from around 7% now, estimated analysts at JP Morgan in a note.

Its development of advertising and fintech services, as well as economies of scale, could help the company break even in 2023, the analysts said.

Ozon shares were down 0.9% as of 1521 GMT.

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