Unrivaled GMA Network sees higher 2021 profit, to boost startup capital to P1B
GMA’s evolving strategy, through GMA Ventures Inc., will help the company deliver “more revenues and net income for our stockholders”, chair and CEO Felipe Gozon said on Thursday (Dec. 9).
Gozon shared few details during the company’s special stockholders’ meeting, revealing that GMA had invested in “one or two so-called startup companies” and that other offers were being evaluated.
Once averse to making risky new investments, GMA has since changed its stance when it announced the establishment of GMA Ventures earlier this year to focus on non-core businesses outside TV.
“If a good opportunity presents itself for the company to earn considerable revenues and net income, even if that will require the investment of a substantial amount, then [GMA Ventures Inc.] can invest in it. Provided not much risk is involved in the business to be invested on,” Gozon said.
GMA stockholders approved the infusion of an initial P100 million into GMA Ventures and gave further authority to its executive committee to increase this to the full amount of P1 billion for future investments.
Gozon also assured stockholders that future dividend payouts will not be affected given that GMA has no long-term debts and cash flow remains “very healthy.”
GMA has seen its year-to-date share price skyrocket as much as 176 percent to P16.60 last October following a major earnings boost and dividend declaration that came after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shutdown of main rival ABS-CBN Corp.’s free-to-air broadcasts in 2020.
For 2021, Gozon said GMA will exceed the previous target to grow net income by 15 percent over the previous year, when GMA recorded a 128 percent profit surge to nearly P6 billion.
He said GMA will continue to invest in content production, talent management and development while expanding its presence in digital TV and the overseas Filipino market.
He added the TV business will remain strong in 2022 with the presidential elections.
Gozon explained that recurring and non-political related advertising will provide the bulk of ad sales next year.
He said political ads in 2019 accounted for about 5 percent of total sales and the company is expecting a similar figure next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and caps imposed by the Commission on Elections on political advertising rates.