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EARNINGS: GMA Network posts 18% growth in Q1 revenues

May 16, 2011 6:39pm
GMA Network Inc. (GMA) started 2011 on the upward trend with an 18 percent growth in consolidated gross revenues from regular advertising and subscription accounts in the first quarter of the year, reaching P3.138 billion from P2.652 billion delivered in the same period last year, and after stripping off P973 million worth of political ads.

Airtime revenues delivered by television and radio from regular advertisers grew by 21 percent to P2.865 billion from P2.367 billion in the same period last year.

Flagship business unit Channel 7, which is now the acknowledged national ratings leader from January to date, and GMA Radio hiked regular advertising revenues by 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

GMA International made subscription and advertising revenues worth P230 million this first quarter, higher by three percent in dollar terms, but down by two percent due to the appreciation of the peso.

Robust global brands

International channels GMA Pinoy TV (GPTV) and GMA Life TV (GLTV) hiked subscriptions by 10 percent and two percent, respectively, in the same quarter, as GMA International readies the launch of GMA News TV (GNTV) international edition in July.

On the other hand, GMA’s syndication sales and acquisition arm, GMA Worldwide, Incorporated (GWI), sold P6.6 million worth of programs with new markets in Kenya, Tanzania, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Newly launched GNTV, the first and only free-to-air news and public affairs channel on VHF (Very High Frequency), made P12 million from its launch in February 28 till end-March. Because it is on free TV, viewers do not need to pay a cable service provider to get the latest news and information.

Net income for the quarter reached P534 million, a dip from P855 million recorded during the same period last year, which was mainly driven by political advocacies and advertisements in the top line.

Maintaining the lead

GMA continues to thrive amid a non-election year with a modest increase in its total operating expenses (OPEX) by three percent to P1.989 billion.

General and administrative expenses increased by 14 percent from P800 million year-on-year to P914 million due to the Company’s promotional activities in the regions to further establish its nationwide presence.

The amount invested on ads and promotions in the quarter almost doubled to P113 million during the first three months.

The quarter finished with earnings before income, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) worth P926 million, 34 percent lower than last year’s P1.413 billion.

GMA Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon remains confident that GMA will deliver better financial performance in the succeeding months with the network continuously emerging a ratings winner despite stiffer competition.

“GMA maintains its lead in audience share from January 2011 to date. With majority of the country’s population now attuned to GMA, I look forward to a more solid liaison with our partners, the advertisers and the viewing public alike," Gozon said.

On television, GMA has gone beyond ABS-CBN in national television ratings since the opening of 2011 and has managed to uphold its leadership position until today, according to Nielsen TV Audience Measurement—the broadcast industry’s most trusted ratings service provider.

Captive audience

Based on household data surveyed in National Urban Philippines this April, GMA garnered 33.2 household audience share points, higher than ABS-CBN’s 31.3 and TV5’s 14.7.

In Urban Luzon, which comprises 77 percent of total television households nationwide, GMA’s lead over competing networks remained at double digit levels. The Kapuso Network sustained its strong ratings performance in the said area with 36.8 share points, 10.4 points ahead of ABS-CBN’s 26.4 and 20.6 points ahead of TV5’s 16.2.

In viewer-rich Mega Manila, which covers 58 percent of total television households nationwide, GMA garnered 37.6 share points, 12.8 points up from ABS-CBN’s 24.8 and 20.5 points higher than TV5’s 17.1.

Furthermore, nationwide ratings data from January 1 to April 30 showed that GMA delivered superior performance in audience shares with 33.6 points, higher than ABS-CBN’s 31.7 points and from TV5’s 15.1 points.

For the same period in Urban Luzon, GMA registered an imposing 37.1 share points, higher than ABS-CBN’s 26.7 and TV5’s 16.9 share points.

Year to date figures for Mega Manila show that GMA-7 posted 38.2 audience share points versus ABS-CBN’s 25.1 and TV5’s 17.7 for a lead of 13.1 and 20.5 points respectively.

Meanwhile, GNTV made a historic high ratings record during its coverage of the Royal Wedding last April 29. During the wedding ceremony with live footage straight from Westminster Abbey from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, GNTV hit a 13.3 household rating—next to Channel 7’s 18.6 rating for the same coverage. GNTV and Channel 7 delivered the highest ratings during that day.

The Nielsen TV Audience Measurement used by GMA is used by 21 companies including two other local TV networks, namely, TV5 and Solar Entertainment; Faulkner Media; CBN Asia; 13 advertising agencies and three regional clients. On the other hand, ABS-CBN is the only local network reportedly subscribing to Kantar Media, formerly known as TNS.

GMA Engineering Group, meanwhile, recently completed the TV-12 Ormoc Project and established a TV transmitting station site in Mt. Kanlandog, Murcia, Negros Occidental for the approved Ultra High Frequency (UHF) TV relay station project.

The Group’s Content Management and On-Air Systems department administers the testing and bug fixing of the media asset management system (MAMS) – by far the most sophisticated filing system in local broadcast bought at US$4 million. — JMT/VS, GMA News
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