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Voucher bazaar turns to mobe deals, puts on a brave face

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Groupon has named co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as the next chief exec at the same time as announcing better-than-expected revenues in this year's second quarter, sending shares shooting up 25 per cent.

This is despite making a $7.6m loss during those three months, whereas it made a profit of $28.4m the same period last year.

The daily deals bazaar said Lefkofsky, who has been filling in for co-founder Andrew Mason after he was sacked as CEO in February, will take the chief's chair while fellow interim chief exec Ted Leonsis will become chairman of the board.

It seems the news, coupled with a seven per cent lift in revenue on Q2 2012, caused shares to rise by a quarter to $8.72 as investors saw some light at the end of the tunnel under the new leadership.

While Mason was in charge, stocks dropped from their $20 debut in 2011 to about $5 as the company struggled to grow its voucher business model or find a route to diversifying its revenues that quickly propped up profits.

In the past few months, the company has managed to get more business from mobile traffic, instead of relying on emailed daily deals, Lefkofsky said. His web biz also kickstarted a $300m share repurchase programme.

"With two quarters on the job, I'm pleased with the progress we've made in such a short time. We continue to gain traction in mobile, with nearly 50 per cent of our North American transactions coming from mobile in June. To date, more than 50 million people have downloaded Groupon apps worldwide," he added.

Groupon's revenues in the second quarter climbed to $608.7m while its net loss for the period was $7.6m. The company said it expects revenue of between $585m and $635m as folks on holidays spend less on its vouchers for restaurants and beauty treatments. ®

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