GMA Network posts record P1-B revenues in July

- Zinnia B. Dela Peña -
GMA Network Inc. posted a record P1.02 billion in revenues in July, exceeding its projected revenues of P700 million for the month, largely due to the continued strong performance of its programs and higher commercial loads.

On a year-to-date basis, GMA reported a 55 percent growth in revenues to P5.51 billion from P4.28 billion the previous year.

The company reported a net income of P1.32 billion in the January to July period this year compared with only P881 million the previous level. For July, net profit surged 145 percent to P280 million from P114 million. The launch of Sugo, another fantasy series, also boosted the network’s ratings in the primetime.

GMA chairman and president Felipe Gozon said given this trend, the company expects its net income to hit over P2 billion this year compared with P1.5 billion in 2004. He is optimistic that the network will finish strong this year as it continues to lead TV viewership ratings in the Mega-Manila area.

"With the network hitting more than P1 billion (income) in just the first half of the year, we expect the second half to be even better," Gozon said.

Based on data from AGB Philippines, GMA posted an average total day ratings of 18.8 percent in the first six months of the year compared with its chief rival ABS-CBN’s 13.8 percent. Seventeen out of the top 20 programs during the period under review were from GMA based on the survey conducted by Nielsen while according to AGB data, 14 GMA programs were among the top 20.

GMA has a viewership of 35,000 households in Mega Manila, equivalent to at least 175,000 people.

In terms of commercial loads, GMA posted a significant increase in commercial minutes for the first half by 7,736 minutes compared. Vis-à-vis ABS-CBN’s 38,700 total commercial minutes during the period under review, GMA loaded a total of 51,073 commercial minutes.

GMA executive vice-president and chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit Jr. said the network is targeting finally to go public in the first quarter of next year as a way to share its corporate wealth with the investing public.

Gozon said the company will meet with its financial advisers next week to discuss the terms of the offering and the financial audit to be conducted on the company.

The network expects to raise around P9 billion from the sale of 30 percent of its shares through an IPO.

GMA now has a higher market value compared with its value four years ago when Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. planned to take over the network. The deal, however, fizzled out due to differences over the valuation of shares.GMA was valued then at over P15 billion.

If it were to be sold today, GMA could fetch anywhere from P25 billion to P50 billion, industry observers noted.

GMA subsidiary Citynet Inc., is currently preparing for the programming line-up for Channel 11, which would provide an additional platform for GMA to showcase its programs and talents

GMA has a network of 45 VHF and two affiliate stations nationwide, and now can be seen in a number of households in Asia, Australia and Hawaii and the US mainland. 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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