GMA Network profit triples in Q1 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Television broadcast giant GMA Network Inc. saw earnings more than triple in the first quarter of 2021 as advertising sales surged and spending was kept in check.
Amid the economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, GMA saw a strong recovery from the post-election slowdown last year and the absence of its main competitor ABS-CBN Corp., whose broadcast business was shut down by the Duterte administration last year.
It also benefited from tax cuts under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.
From January to March this year, GMA said net income surged higher by 246 percent to P2.02 billion while total revenues jumped 55 percent to P5.46 billion.
“Despite the protracted community quarantine brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the operations of the company, particularly its core business in media, remained unhampered,” GMA said in a quarterly filing.
Advertising revenues alone went up 57 percent to P5.09 billion during the first quarter of the year.
GMA said all airtime revenue platforms grew year-on-year. It also launched new businesses after the first quarter of 2020, including its digital TV business through the GMA Affordabox and GMA Now mobile receivers.
The flagship Channel 7 led TV revenues, with advertising sales growing 52 percent.
“The growth in this year’s top line was influenced by the improvement in both average rate per minute as well as total minutes load,” GMA said.
GMA News TV saw revenues jumped 244 percent while radio airtime sales jumped 36 percent, led by AM station Super Radyo DZBB.
The company’s online platforms, led by GMA News Online and GMA Entertainment Online, saw a 41 percent increase in ad sales.
During the quarter, GMA said operating expenses rose 5 percent to P2.84 billion.
Costs were tempered as the production of new entertainment shows hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.
Production costs alone went down 10 percent to P1.1 billion during the quarter. Roughly half of the figure came from talent fees, which fell 10 percent to P570.49 million.
General and administrative expenses also went up 11 percent to P1.62 billion. Annual salary increases for employees and provisions for pensions pushed up personnel costs by 8 percent to P1.09 billion.
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