Broadcast giant GMA Network, Inc. on Tuesday reported a net income of P842 million in the first three months of the year, down 17 percent from a year ago, in the absence of election-related ads that boosted last year’s bottom line.
In a statement, GMA reported recurring revenues of P3.766 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up 15 percent over the same period last year. Including political advertisements, GMA’s revenues in the first three months went down by 4 percent.
Political advocacies and advertisements contributed P640 million to the company’s top line in the first quarter of last year.
Total operating expenses were kept at bay, going up by only 5 percent to P2.592 billion while Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) decreased by 16 percent to P1.545 billion.
The network paid out cash dividends to shareholders worth P3.548 billion at P0.73 per share on May 15.
“Even without political ads, we are tracking a stronger year financially and we expect to achieve our growth targets in 2017,” said GMA Network Chairman Felipe Gozon.
GMA said it sustained its nationwide TV ratings dominance with an average 39.8-percent household audience share, besting ABS-CBN’s 35.5 percent in the first quarter based on data from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement.
Discounting the effect of political advertisements, the network’s core station, GMA-7, generated a 15-percent improvement in airtime revenues in the first quarter. GMA News TV and Radio revenues increased by 22 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
GMA International, the business unit that manages the distribution and operation of the network’s international channels, recorded a 9 percent increase in revenues from subscriptions, licensing and advertising.
As of March, flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV had an estimated 1.8 million viewers worldwide, a year-on-year increase of 6 percent. Viewership for GMA Life TV increased by 19 percent to about 800,000 viewers worldwide, while GMA News TV International posted a 63-percent increase in viewers worldwide.
GMA’s technology arm, GMA New Media, Inc., closed the quarter with consolidated revenue growth of 63 percent and a net income hike of 421 percent.