Last month, Rambler Media, which operates one the most popular Russian web portals Rambler.ru, launched a $5 million outdoor advertising campaign, which’s estimated to be the largest in Russian internet history. The company aimed to double its daily reach of 3 million users over the next year. Then, the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service refused Google‘s application to acquire 100% of Russian contextual advertising company Begun. 50.1%-owner Rambler Media would have received $70.1 million in cash, should the deal had gone through. At June 30 2008, Rambler had cash balances of $26.1 million excluding $10.9 million held in Begun.
Rambler Media generated revenues of $51.7 million and made $1.5 million operating loss in the first half of 2008. Out of total operating expenses, the labour ones accounted for $15.3 million or 32 percent of total in the period. The company reported its headcount was 509 at 30 June 2008.
According to Sonya Sokolova of Zvuki.ru and Webplanet, Rambler Media is laying off up to 50 percent of its staff. Both sources say that most of the layoffs are expected to come from the company’s non-core projects including a telecom provider Rambler Telecom, photo sharing community Rambler-Foto, video sharing community Rambler Vision, IT news site Ferra, and several others.
Rambler’s share of web searches in Russia has recently dropped below 8 percent from 15 percent last January. It’s # 4 in Russia, after Yandex, Google and Mail.ru (which uses Yandex to power search results).