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MOSCOW : Online retailer AliExpress Russia on Wednesday said an initial public offering was a possible step for the company, which reported gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $3 billion for the 2020-21 financial year.

A joint venture launched in 2019 with China's Alibaba and Russian partners, AliExpress Russia operates domestic and cross-border sales.

The company said it now has 29.1 million monthly active users on its online marketplace.

AliExpress Russia did not give a comparison for total GMV, which stood at 229.3 billion roubles ($2.96 billion) for the year to March 31. GMV for its domestic business was up 151% year-on-year at 54.9 billion roubles, the company said.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave a boost to Russia's e-commerce sector as health restrictions kept consumers at home, but AliExpress Russia, which depends on cross-border transactions for more than three quarters of its business, was slower to see the benefit as supply chains adjusted to new travel restrictions.

The company said an IPO was a possible step, but that such a decision was one for its shareholders.

"There are no specific plans for the dates - it may be next year or later," AliExpress Russia said.

CEO Dmitry Sergeev said the company's cross-border business grew in line with Russia's total e-commerce market, which analysts from market research firm Euromonitor put at almost 40% in 2020, and that its domestic business was growing ahead of the market.

Russian e-commerce leader Wildberries has reported full-year GMV in 2020 of 437.2 billion roubles, up 96% year-on-year. Online retailer Ozon, which staged a successful initial public offering (IPO) late last year, reported 144% GMV growth in 2020 at 197.4 billion roubles.

AliExpress Russia said 2020 GMV, not including services, was 209.6 billion roubles, without providing a growth comparison.

The company said it was sticking to a target of annual turnover of $10 billion by 2023, a figure first disclosed in an interview Sergeev gave to Reuters last July.

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