Russia’s Yandex to Launch Rapid Delivery in France

Russian tech giant Yandex said Thursday it plans to launch its rapid grocery delivery service in France later this year and is also gearing up to start operations in London.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic demand for online grocery deliveries has spiked, buttressing 15-minute grocery delivery services such as Yandex.Lavka.

Yandex.Lavka currently operates in several big Russian cities as well as Tel Aviv.

The company said the service would start operating in Paris in the second quarter of this year.

«Last week we registered a local company in France under the name Deli International and started hiring,» a Yandex spokeswoman told AFP.

In France, the service will initially cover the central districts of Paris.

The company also plans to launch operations in London.

Yandex, which also has restaurant food delivery and taxi services, relies on an army of bicycle couriers and multiple warehouses known as «dark stores.»

The widespread network of small warehouses closed to the public allows for delivery to take place within 10-15 minutes of placing an order.

Yandex, nicknamed the «Russian Google,» is already present in some European countries, such as Finland and the Baltic states, mainly with its taxi service.

Russian Oil Giant Rosneft Back in Black as Prices Recover

Russian oil giant Rosneft said Friday that its earnings were back in the black in the first quarter after oil prices recovered following Moscow’s production deals with OPEC.

State-controlled Rosneft reported a net profit of 149 billion rubles ($2 billion) in the first quarter, compared with a loss of 156 billion rubles in the same period last year.

It is the latest major oil company to report a spike in quarterly profits thanks to rising crude prices.

Global oil prices, already low amid growing competition, were hit hard by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, with demand hammered as many countries shut down swathes of their economies in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

That caused a glut in supplies and a plunge in prices that briefly saw some turn negative.

Russia and other major producers joined with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in agreeing a series of production limits that helped prop up prices.

In recent months prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, hovering around $65 per barrel.

Between January and March 2021, Rosneft — which is about one-fifth owned by Britain’s BP — said its revenue fell slightly to 1.7 trillion rubles.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 44 percent year-on-year to 445 billion rubles.

In a statement from the group, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin hailed the results as «strong» despite the «difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic».

Sechin said Rosneft is continuing its ambitious northern Vostok Oil project, which «guarantees the company stability of production and profit levels».

Production at the project is expected to start in 2024, with the aim of reaching an output of 100 million tonnes by the start of the next decade.

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