Election ads helped GMA double earnings

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Kapuso GMA Network Inc. said on Monday that its net income more than doubled in the first six months of the year on the back of record airtime sales due to election-related earnings and sustained growth in recurring advertisements.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, GMA Network reported a net income of P2.378 billion in January-June 2016, up by 116 percent from P1.1 billion a year ago.

“It definitely exceeded our expectations for the year,” said GMA Chairman and CEO lawyer Felipe L. Gozon of the company’s strong financial performance.

“In fact, our net income for the first semester of 2016 is already higher than our bottom line for 2015 by at least P250 million. We are hoping that this momentum will continue well into the remaining quarters,” he added.

The company’s consolidated revenues for the six-month period jumped 32 percent to P8.760 billion on the back of election-related earnings together Combined airtime sales reached a record P8.065 billion, equivalent to a 33 percent or P1.996 billion increase over the year before.

Discounting the impact of political ads, airtime revenues still grew by 10 percent. Felipe Yalong, GMA executive vice president and chief finance officer, noted the company is maintaining its income guidance for the year.

“So far we’re sticking with the P3-billion guidance,” he said.

Operating expenses posted a single-digit growth of only 7 percent to P5.384 billion, as total production cost and general and administrative expenses (GAEX) rose by 6 and 7 percent, respectively.

GMA ended mid-year with earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of P4.177 billion, up by 73 percent from the same period last year.

On television, GMA maintained its ratings dominance in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila based on Nielsen TV Audience Measurement data covering the second quarter of the year. In Urban Luzon, GMA registered a 39.6 percent household audience share, higher than ABS-CBN’s 31.4 percent.

Meanwhile, in Mega Manila, GMA posted an audience share of 41.8 percent, ahead of ABS-CBN’s 28.1 percent. The network likewise solidified its position as the preferred source of news and information during events of national significance as it captured majority of the viewers in National Urban Philippines for both the 2016 national elections and the Presidential and Vice Presidential inauguration coverage.

GMA News and Public Affairs’ Eleksyon 2016 special coverage last May 9 recorded an average household share of 36.3 percent in NUTAM (National Urban Television Audience Measurement), besting the 34.4 percent of ABS-CBN’s Halalan 2016.

Meanwhile, GMA’s special coverage of the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, Panata Sa Pagbabago, on June 30 registered a household share of 38.8 percent in NUTAM, ahead of ABS-CBN’s 33.6 percent as per Nielsen data.

Across broadcast platforms, flagship GMA Channel 7’s revenues improved by 34 percent and comprised the lion’s share of the total airtime revenue pie. Leading free-to-air local news channel GMA News TV also exceeded its performance last year with a 10 percent increase in revenues.

The Network’s radio operations likewise registered a double-digit growth of 41 percent, as well as Regional TV, which manages GMA’s broadcast operations in the different regions, with sales 16 percent higher than last year.

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