GMA Network profit up 463% to P576-M in H1

- Zinnia B. Dela Peña -
GMA Network Inc., the country’s number two broadcasting firm, reported an unprecedented 463-percent increase in its first half net income this year to P576 million, from only P102 million in the same period last year.

GMA said it has exceeded its 2002 full-year profit of P174 million and is hoping to hit the P1-billion level by yearend.

GMA senior vice-president for corporate services Felipe Yalong said: "GMA’s monthly net income has gone beyond the P100-million mark for the fourth consecutive month. If the trend continues plus the factor that can be brought in by our increase in advertising rates that started in July, we will easily hit P1 billion at the end of the year."

The company registered revenues of P3.01 billion for the first six months of the year or an increase of 76 percent from P1.71 billion the same period a year ago.

Yalong said GMA’s revenue for two consecutive months from May to June, surpassed the P600-million monthly revenue mark. For May, the network registered P669 million, up by 104 percent from last year’s P327 million while in June, gross revenues reached P632 million, 72 percent higher than previous level.

As of end-June this year, the firm’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization stood at P1.18 billion or 111 percent higher than the P561 million registered a year earlier. Operating expenses rose 36 percent to P1.42 billion as against P1.05 billion with production cost and talent fees taking the lion’s share of the increase because of the new programs and specials launched during the period.

GMA expects to further improve its performance in the near future by expanding its operations abroad and reopening its UHF channel 27.

It hopes to tap the international market early next year with the United States as its first test market. The company is currently in talks with two of the biggest direct-to-home operators in the US to jumpstart its planned expansion.

Apart from this, GMA is planning to beef up its radio operations and programs to further enhance its revenue stream.

Management said GMA’s gap in ratings with perennial rival, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., has been narrowing down since last year as a result of the cost-efficiency of many of its programs.

The company, aware of the Meteor Garden phenomena, will be introducing new and innovative programs to satisfy the public’s ever-changing tastes.

GMA-7, the top station until the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986, is studying the feasibility of going public next year or as soon as the market improves to further beef up its programming.

The company has a network of 45 VHF and two affiliate stations nationwide, and can be seen in a number of households in Asia, Australia and Hawaii via satellite. It can also be heard on the airwaves through dzBB-AM and dwLS-FM in Manila; dySS-AM and dyRT-FM in Cebu; and in 27 RGMA radio stations throughout the country.












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