GMA News Online

GMA Network H1 profit P934M, dips a bit on high operating, expansion costs

August 15, 2006 2:52pm
GMA Network Inc., the country's most profitable and leading broadcasting firm, said on Tuesday its first-half net profit slipped by almost 7 percent as it increased spending on its top-rating television programs and facilities upgrade.

GMA Network said it had a first-half net profit of P934 million versus a reported P1.0 billion net earnings a year ago.

Despite the drop, GMA's net profit was still ahead of its top rival.

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. reported a 145 percent year-on-year rise in first-half net earnings at P515.6 million.

In a statement, GMA -- which is not listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange -- said consolidated gross revenues grew 13 percent to P5.2 billion for the first half, due to steady airtime sales from Channel 7 and additional subscription revenues from its new international operations called GMA Pinoy TV.

GMA Pinoy TV, which is available in the US, Middle East, Malaysia, Japan, Guam, and Saipan, already has more than 100,000 subscribers after only a year since it was launched.

New programs

Operating expenses jumped 35 percent to P2.8 billion in the first half, mainly due to higher production cost and expenses related to new programs.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) stood at P1.9 billion for the first half, almost flat compared to previous year. This, "despite the continuing industry-wide decrease in advertising spending."

As of June this year, GMA has maintained its lead in both Metro Manila and Mega Manila TV ratings in all day parts, including the highly contested primetime block.

Based on data from AGBNMR Philippines, GMA posted a Mega Manila total day ratings average of 17.9 points versus its competitor's 12.1.

QTV-11, GMA's affiliate station, also registered a respectable 1.8 percent ratings average for June.

The network said it will spend more than P168 million for the upgrade of its transmitters and other facilities in various key areas in the provinces. The company will also augment its existing studio facilities in Cebu, Iloilo and Davao.

It will also put up TV and radio facilities in Dagupan City to improve its coverage in the northern part of the country.

The Network has held successful Kapuso Day events in Cebu and Iloilo in celebration of its 56th founding anniversary.

Facilities upgrade

Scheduled for upgrade are the transmitter facilities that service Baguio, Dagupan City, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Lipa, Northern Mindoro, Naga, Central Camarines Sur, General Santos, Saranggani, South Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

A new transmitter facility will be put up to enhance coverage of Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental, while coverage realignment in Bukidnon will also be included, the Network said.

These upgrades include new transmitting equipment, from transmitters to antenna systems and building, tower rehabilitation and construction.

The facilities, the Network said, will come complete with the essential support equipment for quality, reliable and continuous broadcast operation. Completion of these projects is expected within the year.

The Network is currently airing top rating primetime programs Captain Barbell, Majika, and I Luv New York, and is producing another primetime program, Bakekang.

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