UPDATE 1-Russian search engine Yandex expects 2019 revenue to rise up to 32 pct

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russian internet group Yandex is pictured at the company’s headquarter in Moscow, Russia October 4, 2018. /Shamil ZhumatovMOSCOW () – Russia’s biggest internet search engine Yandex said on Friday it expects its revenue, excluding Yandex.Market, to rise by between 28 and 32 percent this year. Yandex said its adjusted net profit rose 62 percent last year to 22.9 billion roubles ($343 million), while its adjusted revenue increased 41 percent to 126.4 billion roubles. Shares in Yandex were up by about 1.4 percent after the results were published, with analysts at VTB Capital saying the company had performed strongly but could be hindered by uncertainties over its shareholder structure. A media report last year said Yandex was considering ways to solidify its management’s control over the company, including by depositing 60 percent of the firm in an untouchable fund to protect it from acquisitions. The report came after speculation that Russia’s largest lender, state-run Sberbank, was considering buying a large stake in the company and that Russia could limit foreign ownership in online news aggregators. Yandex founder Arkady Volozh, who holds a majority of the firm’s voting rights, has said there were no plans to sell it. Yandex has around a 56 percent share of Russian search traffic and is also the biggest news aggregator compared with rivals Google and Mail.Ru. ($1 = 66.6878 roubles) Reporting by Maria Kolomychenko; Writing by Tom Balmforth and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Alexander SmithOur Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.