GMA Network Profit Dips In 2012, Sees Recovery In 2013

Broadcast giant GMA Network, Inc. (GMA) reported a net income after tax of P1.62 billion, a decline of five percent versus a year ago, due to the rise in its operating expenses.

However, for 2013, GMA chairman Felipe L. Gozon said that the company is expected to deliver better financial results as evidenced by its strong financial performance at the opening of the year.

"The first two months have been exceptionally strong with GMA Channel 7 hitting an all time high in February alone," said Gozon adding that, "we intend to keep this momentum as we anticipate sustained revenue growth across all platforms."

GMA registered consolidated gross revenues of P13.93 billion for the full year of 2012, up by six percent versus 2011, as the Network managed a seven percent growth in airtime sales to P12.7 billion that comprises 91 percent of its gross revenues.

GMA's flagship channel Ch 7 drove the increase in 2012 as it registered a seven percent rise in incremental sales due to its consistent nationwide leadership across the year.

This was supported by revenues from Regional TV which climbed a significant 25 percent, as a result of various expansion and improvement efforts in different areas nationwide.

Leading local news channel GMA News TV, on the other hand, gained a modest two percent increase in its top line on its second year of operations, while airtime revenues from Radio dropped three percent.

GMA International sustained the subscriber uptake but subscription and advertising revenues from GMA International fell a tad short by 0.9 percent due to the appreciation of the Peso. Discounting the impact of the forex fluctuation, international sales slightly grew by two percent.

Meanwhile, earnings from subsidiaries went up by 14 percent coming from external sources while GMA Worldwide, Inc. (GWI) sold over 60 program and movie titles.

The company saw a seven percent increase in its total operating expenses (OPEX) for the year to P9.59 billion owing primarily to the upsurge in the amortization of program rights in order to further diversify and strengthen its programming.

The rise in OPEX also came from the increase in depreciation charges from the commissioning of the state-of-the-art Media Asset Management System (MAMS) along with massive investments for the launch of originating stations in Ilocos Norte and Naga City in 2012.

Meanwhile, GMA Network's board of directors has approved cash dividends of P0.25 centavos per share equivalent to a total of P1.22 billion.

In a statement, GMA said the cash bonus was approved by its board during a meeting held at the GMA Network headquarters in Quezon City on March 21. The record date for the cash dividend is on April 17, while the payment date is on May 14, 2013.

With the approval of the dividend payout, GMA Network chairman Felipe L. Gozon expressed confidence about the company's financial performance this year.

"We are confident that we can reach or even surpass our targets this year. In fact, part of our income as of February , 2013 has been included in the dividends that we will pay our shareholders," Gozon said.

GMA is set to report its 2012 performance figures at a briefing with media and analysts on March 22.

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