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GMA-7 Network profits rise in 1st quarter due to poll ads

By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 17:03:00 05/19/2010

Filed Under: Media, Television, Elections, Advertising

MANILA, Philippines?Political campaign-related revenues lifted broadcast giant GMA Network Inc.?s profits by more than two-thirds in the first three months of 2010.

In a disclosure earlier this week, GMA said its net income surged 71 percent to P855 million in the first quarter of the year from P501 million in the same period of 2009.

The company said air time revenues from television and radio, which made up 92 percent of total revenues, reached P3.34 billion in the three-month period. This was 38 percent higher than year-ago levels, ?as all platforms were buoyed up by political ad placements.?

?I am satisfied with the network?s performance for the first quarter. Even without political ads, we would still post modest gains in net income because of our operational efficiencies,? GMA Network chairman, president and CEO Felipe Gozon said in a statement.

He said the company has been expecting revenues to continue pouring in with the expected return of regular advertisers, which earlier postponed spending for TV placements to avoid the clutter caused by political campaigns.

As a result, Gozon said the company?s earlier projection of a 10-percent improvement in net income for the entire has started to look conservative.

?My fearless forecast is that 2010 will be a much better year than 2009,? he said.

Bulk of the company?s revenues was from its main channel, GMA-7, reaching P3.1 billion or 38 percent up year-on-year.

Airtime revenues for QTV Channel 11, which is the network?s secondary channel, climbed 16 percent to P111 million. Airtime revenues from radio operations grew fastest at 91 percent to P130 million.

Revenues from other sources provided a P285 million boost to the top line, rising 22 percent over 2009.

Subscription revenues from international operations leaped 27 percent to P235 million from last year?s P185 million driven by the sustained growth in subscriber count for GMA Pinoy TV as well as GMA Life TV.

At the end of March 2010, GMA Pinoy TV?s subscribers reached quarter of a million households, up 19 percent from last year, while GMA Life TV reached 120,000 subscribers, a 7 percent growth over same period in 2009.

Meanwhile, consolidated general and administrative expenses hit P800 million, reflecting an increase of 12 percent versus P715 million for the first quarter 2009. ?Personnel costs followed by outside services mainly accounted for the year-on-year increase,? GMA Network said.



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