Upwork withdraws forecast as it suspends Russia, Belarus operations

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March 7 (Reuters) - Freelancing platform Upwork Inc (UPWK.O) withdrew its forecast for the year on Monday after suspending services in Russia and Belarus, citing risk and uncertainties as Moscow's invasion of Kyiv escalates.

Shares of San Francisco, California-based Upwork, which operates a work marketplace that connects businesses with freelance writers, journalists and other professionals, were down nearly 10%.

Upwork said it had already incurred unplanned expenses and expects to incur additional costs which, along with the decrease in activity, would impact first-quarter and 2022 revenue and core profit.

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About 10% of Upwork's total revenue in 2021 came from work where either the talent or the client was located in the region, with Ukraine representing about 6% and Russia and Belarus combined bringing in the rest.

Upwork said it had seen a meaningful decrease in activity from talent in the region, most notably in Ukraine, since the beginning of the invasion in late February 2022.

The company said it will stop taking in new business, while previous accounts will be disposed off by May 1.

From Apple (AAPL.O) to Nike , scores of companies have severed connections with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, as western nations impose sanctions, including shutting out some Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial network. read more

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Reporting by Yuvraj Malik; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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