GMA Network hikes Q1 net income by 71% to P855 million

Broadcast giant GMA Network charted a sharp increase in its 2010 first quarter bottom line, as it posted a net income of P855 million, 71 percent higher than the P501 million it netted for the same period last year.
 
Driven by political advertisements, and backed up by revenue increases across all business units, consolidated gross revenues for the three-month period breached the P3-billion mark and settled at P3.625 billion, 37 percent higher than last year’s P2.651 billion.
 
Operating expenses rose by 20 percent to P1.927 billion. The rise in operating expenses was mainly driven by the significant increase in production cost, as the Network produced top-rating programs with high production value on top of additional station-produced shows.
 
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) climbed by 57 percent to P1.413 billion from the previous year’s P902 million.
 
Total assets grew by 13 percent to P14.820 billion, while total liabilities increased by eight percent to P3.085 billion.
 
GMA Network chairman, president, and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon commended the Network’s first quarter performance and credited the company’s continued operational efficiencies as a key factor in the company’s profitability. “I am satisfied with the Network’s performance for the first quarter. Even without the political ads, we would still post modest gains in net income because of our operational efficiencies," Gozon said.
 
Overseas, the Network continues its aggressive operations to gain more international viewers. For the first quarter, GMA International contributed P235 million in subscription revenues, an increase of 27 percent from last year’s P185 million.
 
As of end March, GMA International reported a 19 percent increase in the subscriber count of its first international channel – GMA Pinoy TV (GPTV) to 250,000. Of the said number, 120,000 are also subscribers of the second international channel – GMA Life TV (GLTV), which reported a seven percent growth in the subscriber count year-on-year. The subscriber counts are equivalent to 1.5 million and 800,000 viewers for GPTV and GLTV, respectively. 
 
GPTV, which carries GMA Channel 7 programs, was recently launched in MTS Canada, KPU Ketchikan Alaska, Comcast Colorado, Brighthouse Florida, and En-Touch Texas. GLTV, which airs lifestyle programs from Q Channel 11, was recently launched in Comcast Colorado, PCCW Hong Kong, Central California, Brighthouse Florida, and En-Touch Texas.
 
Both channels have penetrated markets in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other territories.
On the other hand, GMA Network’s distribution subsidiary, GMA Worldwide, Inc. (GWI), has syndicated locally produced programs to as far as Africa, Alaska, the Middle East, and North America. GWI has also distributed several GMA dramas and films to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, and Vietnam. 

Recently, GWI showcased GMA-produced programs at Discop Africa held in Dakar, Senegal, and at the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, where more international buyers once more took notice of GMA’s locally produced shows.

GMA Network likewise continued its signal and facility upgrade projects in key areas nationwide including Matina (Davao City), Roxas City (Capiz), Dipolog (Zamboanga del Norte), Ozamis City (Misamis Occidental), San Jose City (Occidental Mindoro), Kalibo (Aklan), Virac (Catanduanes), Ormoc City (Leyte), Tagbilaran (Bohol), Santiago City (Isabela), and Jala-jala (Rizal). GMA’s Engineering Group has also looked at doing trial broadcast of digital terrestrial TV in view of the industry’s forthcoming migration to this technology.
 
In TV ratings, GMA Network remained the leader in viewer-rich Mega Manila as of the first quarter of 2010, according to survey results from the more widely recognized TV ratings data supplier AGB Nielsen Philippines. Mega Manila’s TV households comprise 55 percent of all TV households nationwide.
 
GMA edged out competition with an average audience share of 37.2 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than competition’s 35.9 percent. 
 
During the quarter, GMA had 15 entries in the list of overall top 30 programs. GMA’s adaptation of Mars Ravelo’s Darna, starred by the Network superstar Marian Rivera, took the top notch in the list with an average household rating of 32.2 points.
 
Six GMA-produced programs made it to the top 10 list. Apart from Darna, other Telebabad (primetime) programs  that made it to the top 10 include the fantasy series The Last Prince starred by promising actors Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal, the action-packed Panday Kids led by child actor Buboy Villar, the romantic comedy Full House billed by Richard Gutierrez and Heart Evagelista, banner newscast 24 Oras, and television’s first reality sitcom, Pepito Manaloto.
 
Pepito Manaloto, which is the brainchild of comic genius Michael V., piloted with an impressive 27.5% program rating last March 28, up by 11.3 points from Goin Bulilit’s 16.2%.
 
Meanwhile, including TV specials during the quarter, the latest bout of boxing’s pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao against Joshua Clottey beat all TV programs with 37.9 rating points. The main event registered a household rating of 49.7 percent and an audience share of 81.3 percent in Mega Manila.
 
GMA programs launched during the quarter including The Last Prince, First Time, Diva, Ina, Kasusuklaman Ba Kita?, Gumapang Ka Lusak, Kandidato, and Wipeout beat their ABS-CBN counterparts.
 
GMA Network also kept its lead in another key area – Urban North/Central Luzon — where GMA led competition by 2.6 points in average channel ratings during the first quarter. The TV households in this area comprise 21 percent of all TV households nationwide.
 
Among the programs set to launch on GMA Network in the coming months include Endless Love topbilled by Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, Pilyang Kerubin starring Barbie Forteza, Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Edition with host Richard Gutierrez, Langit sa Piling Mo with lead actors Heart Evangelista and Mark Herras, and a whole lot more.
 
Just recently, the Network delivered the biggest, most comprehensive, and most credible election coverage dubbed, Eleksyon 2010. The Network’s marathon coverage of the elections was watched by more viewers in Mega Manila, which proves GMA News and Public Affairs’  untainted credibility.
 
The coverage that began as early as 5am on May 10 and ended around noon the following day, May 11, topped competition’s Halalan 2010 with a two-day average rating of 12.3 percentage points among Mega Manila TV households, 2.3 points higher than the latter’s two-day average rating of 10 percent based on AGB Nielsen’s overnight ratings. On May 10 primetime, 24 Oras Eleksyon 2010 Special rated 33.7 percent, more than 10 rating points away from TV Patrol World’s 22 percent. 
 
GMA News and Public Affairs utilized the latest on air graphics system powered by Vizrt to bring election information from the field via dynamic and creative 3D and 2D graphics – the very same graphics system used by CNN. 
 
Meanwhile, GMA Films recently released two box-office hits – Working Girls, a co-production with VIVA, and the Marian Rivera-Dingdong Dantes starrer You To Me Are Everything. (30)

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