In a press statement on Monday, GMA-7 reported, however, that regular advertising and subscription accounts in the first quarter grew by 18 percent from a year ago. Consolidated gross revenues from regular advertising and subscription accounts in the first three months amounted to P3.138 billion from P2.652 billion a year ago, after stripping off P973 million worth of political ads.
Airtime revenues delivered by platforms television and radio from regular advertisers grew by 21 percent to P2.865 billion from a year ago. Flagship business unit Channel 7 and GMA Radio hiked regular advertising revenues by 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Offshore unit GMA International made subscription and advertising revenues worth P230 million this first quarter, up by 3 percent in dollar terms but down by 2 percent in local currency terms due to the appreciation of the peso against the US dollar.
Offshore channels GMA Pinoy TV (GPTV) and GMA Life TV (GLTV) hiked subscriptions by 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively, this first quarter. GMA International is also preparing for the launch of GMA News TV (GNTV) international edition in July, the broadcasting firm said.
On the other hand, GMA’s syndication sales and acquisition arm, GMA Worldwide Inc. (GWI), sold P6.6 million worth of programs with new markets in Kenya , Tanzania , Vietnam , Malaysia and Brunei .
Newly launched GNTV made P12 million from its launch in February 28 till end-March. GNTV is the first and only free-to-air news and public affairs channel on VHF (Very High Frequency).
Despite the extraordinary revenues from political spending last year, GMA said it continued to thrive this non-election year with a modest increase in its total operating expenses by 3 percent to P1.99 billion compared with a year ago. General and administrative expenses increased by 14 percent to P914 million year on year due to the company’s promotional activities to expand nationwide presence. The amount invested on ads and promotions almost doubled to P113 million during the first three months from last year.
The quarter finished with cash flow as measured by earnings before income, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) of P926 million, 34 percent lower than the same period last year.