Friday, 14 May 2010

ABS-CBN rakes in P1 billion from election advertisements

A. M. P. Dagcutan

LOPEZ-LED ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. said yesterday profits went up nearly sixfold to P1.08 billion in the first quarter due to political advertisements during the election campaign period.

“The nonrecurring election-related advertising revenues amounted to P1.04 billion. Altogether, total advertising revenues across all platforms and subsidiaries reached P5.06 billion in the first three months of the year,” said Charles Gamo, ABS-CBN head for Investor Relations and Corporate Planning.

Mr. Gamo said that due to strong national ratings and audience share, total advertising minutes sold grew by 41%. This was driven by a 23% year-on-year increase in advertising minutes sold to regular advertisers.

“ABS-CBN has maintained its national audience share and ratings leadership with total-day audience share averaging 47% in the first quarter. For the period January to March 2010, the first 16 programs and a total of 18 of the Top 20 programs were from us according to the Taylor Nelson Sofres National Philippines Television Audience Measurement service,” said Mr. Gamo.

ABS-CBN maintained its regular advertisers despite accommodating political advertisements during the election period, he said.

The public has also been receptive to new shows specifically on prime time, he said.

Rolando Valdueza, the company’s chief finance officer, said personnel expenses like talent fees for contract artists went up.

“We have to be more competitive [as there is a] third force in market sharing,” he said, referring to emerging rival TV5 which has been aggressively recruiting talents to beef up programming.

“Aside from the talent fees of our artists, we also implemented salary increases on our employees,” he added.

The listed company’s total expenses grew by P996 million or 22% year on year to P5.44 billion due to higher production costs, general, and administrative expenses.

Consolidated revenues went up by 47% to P7.75 billion from P2.46 billion in the first three months of 2009.

Mr. Gamo said cable unit the SkyCable Corp.’s low-priced postpaid cable television offerings have been well-received by the market, as revenue from cable TV and broadband services grew by 14% year on year.

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