LISTED BROADCASTER GMA Network, Inc. expects to post stronger first quarter figures on the back of renewed appetite from advertisers after profits dipped by nearly 40% last year. But GMA News Channel 11, which replaced QTV in February last year, posted a 40% revenue decline to P256 million as advertisers became cautious on the network’s new format, Ms. Maralag said.
GMA NEWS TV, formerly QTV, incurred a loss of less than P500 million.
Its radio arm, meanwhile, recorded P436 million revenues last year, up 15% from P381 million a year ago.
Consolidated operating expenses fell by 7.9% to P8.984 billion from P8.326 billion as production cost increased by 11%.
For the fourth quarter alone, the company’s profits fell by 76.84% to P135 million amid lower advertising revenues.
Mr. Duavit said the company is looking to spend P650 million this year, which will be mostly spent on building two regional stations in the regions of Ilocos and Bicol.
“We [will also spend] for the upgrade of the production and the post-production equipment, which will push us towards the high-definition television,” Mr. Duavit said.
Mr. Duavit went on to deny rumors of the firm’s impending sale to Manuel V. Pangilinan’s camp.
“The statement that the network is not for sale still holds true, in the sense that we are not offering it to other parties. But that it’s not to say that it may not be sold depending on the offer price,” he said.
“There was a significant increase in the [revenue] figures for March. It is a single-digit but the first quarter last year was already strong,” Mr. Duavit added, declining to elaborate.
This will compare against the P534 million the broadcaster booked in the first quarter last year, which was down by 37.5% from year-ago levels.
Lizelle G. Maralag, president of GMA Marketing and Productions, Inc., said the firm has received commitments for 85% of its target advertising revenues.
“Our guidance for this year is P2.8 billion,” Mr. Duavit added, citing the same target that was unrealized in 2011.
GMA Network ended last year with just P1.715 billion in net income, down by 39.01% from P2.812 billion recorded in 2010.
This comes as consolidated revenues fell by 8.51% to P13.083 billion from P14.300 billion in previous year on the absence of P2.054 billion political advertisements.
Airtime revenues of Channel 7 and the regional TVs increased by 8% to P11.19 billion last year versus P10.332 in the year previous.
Mr. Pangilinan owns Associated Broadcasting Co., a unit of Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., which in turn has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. -- C. H. C. Venzon