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GMA Q1 profit down 17%

Television broadcast giant GMA Network Inc. expects to beat the record profit posted in 2016, an election year, with its top officials expecting that strong TV ratings would continue to lure advertising money.

During its quarterly briefing yesterday, GMA chair and CEO Felipe Gozon said net income for the full-year 2017 would hit at least P3.9 billion, up almost 7 percent over last year.

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The target was considered bullish given that big television companies typically report slowing profit after an election cycle, a period marked by a surge in political related advertising.

GMA, which mainly relies on televisions advertising, unlike ABS-CBN Corp., which has diversified its business, announced yesterday that net income in the first quarter dipped 17 percent to P842 million. It was expected given the absence of election-related spending ahead of the May 9, 2016 polls.

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GMA’s first-quarter revenues also slid 4 percent, without the P640 million in political ads seen a year ago. However, it noted that recurring airtime revenues during the period rose 15 percent to P3.77 billion.

Gozon said the company was working to build on that momentum for the rest of 2017, with much of its focus on TV ratings, a closely-watched measure by advertisers.

“Last year we were ahead [in ratings] in the last quarter [of 2016],” Gozon said. “This year, starting the first quarter, and assuming we are correct, we will continue to be ahead until December 2017.”

“We are doing everything that we can in order to maintain the ratings superiority that we have over ABS-CBN,” Gozon added. Both media giants, which use different third-party research data, have traditionally claimed a lead over each other in specific areas in the country and time slots.

GMA said total operating expenses in the first quarter rose 5 percent to P2.59 billion.

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TAGS: Business, GMA Network Inc.
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