• ABS-CBN sets P8.5-B capex for 2015

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    ABS-CBN Corp., the country’s leading multimedia conglomerate, said on Thursday it is allocating P8.5 billion for its capital expenditures in 2015.

    It also reported a net income of P2 billion for 2014, matching the previous year’s net income which had been boosted by election-related spending. Revenue for 2014 remained strong at P33.5 billion.

    “In terms of capital expenditures, we will spend about P8.5 billion this year, higher than the P5.6 billion last year, bulk of which will be used for our digital initiatives, for the maintenance of the network, and our pay TV business,” ABS-CBN Corp. chief finance officer Aldrin M. Cerrado said in a press briefing on Thursday.

    Of the P8.5 billion capex budget, he said P4.1 billion will go to the digital terrestrial television initiative and company maintenance, P3.15 billion to the pay TV business, and P1.2 billion to program rights.

    “It will be funded mainly by internally generated cash” and some other sources, Cerrado said.

    “We are pleased with our overall performance for 2014,” Cerrado added. “I am happy that our TV and Studio businesses continue to turn in strong results. In addition, we are already beginning to reap the rewards from our cost management initiatives. Production costs fell by 4.3 percent compared to 2013,” he said.

    ABS-CBN has further solidified its leadership in terms of national total day audience share, which jumped from 42 percent in 2013 to 44 percent in 2014.

    Total assets rose to P67.2 billion from P58.3 billion in the previous year, while its equity base rose to P26.9 billion from P25.9 billion in 2013.

    One of the company’s key initiatives, ABS-CBNmobile, has continued to increase its subscriber base, ending the year with over 1.5 million subscribers.  Beyond traditional voice and text services, ABS-CBNmobile allows users to watch ABS-CBN programs on their smartphones through iWantTV.

    Rolando Valdueza, ABS-CBN Group CFO, said: “Our O Shopping channel was profitable last year—its first full year of operations—while our educational theme park at the Fort Bonifacio Global City, KidZania, is expected to open for business this year.”

    According to Kantar Media, the top 10 programs for 2014 for free-to-air television were all produced by ABS-CBN.

    The company intends to further boost its audience share once it improves the reception of Channel 2 in the Mega Manila area and Central Luzon through the distribution of its TVplus boxes.

    Various brokerage firms, including Deutsche Regis, Credit Lyonnais, Abacus, Maybank ATR Kim Eng and COL Financial have included ABS-CBN in their research coverage and are positive about the company’s future prospects.

    “I am confident that our company will deliver even stronger results this year. I am particularly excited about the prospects for our digital TV initiative–we already have over 200,000 ABS-CBN TVplus boxes in the market and should hit our initial target of one million set-top boxes by year-end,” Valdueza said.

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