Excluding the one-time gain of P674 million, ABS-CBN's first quarter net income would have been 1% higher than last year's recurring income of P302 million.
Consolidated revenues from advertising and consumer sales grew by 8% to P7.1 billion in the first quarter. Advertising revenues saw a 4% jump to P4.2 billion in the January to March period, while consumer sales posted a 15% rise to P3 billion.
Sky Cable's revenues grew 12% to P1.2 billion in the first quarter, while ABS-CBN Global revenues rose by 3%, as it showed double-digit growth in subscribers in Canada and single digit growth in other markets, except Japan and Europe.
However, total operating and other expenses were up 10% year-on-year to P6.1 billion, due to higher production costs, cost of sales and services, and general and administrative expenses.
ABS-CBN chief finance officer Rolando Valdueza said the company is keeping its full-year net income target to P1.3 billion.
"We're setting a target of P1.3 billion, in terms of airtime we are up 1% but the challenge is our lunchtime slot plus the industry-wide ad spending is down by double digit," he said, in a press briefing.
Valbuena said the company is looking to keep its costs down for the rest of the year. "The production cost increased 25% last year, and now 10%, and the challenge is to keep it really in single digits for our costs," he added.
Based on Kantar National TV Ratings, ABS-CBN maintained its national audience share and ratings leadership, with prime-time audience share averaging 42% during the January to March period.
Meanwhile, buying the assets of Destiny Cable and 2 other companies is expected to boost the subscriber base of ABS-CBN's Sky Cable Corp., the Philippines’ largest cable television service provider
Valdueza said combining Destiny's 150,000 subscribers with Sky's 500,000 subscribers would give the company close to 45% share of the market.
On Friday, Sky announced it was buying the assets - cable TV and broadband - of Destiny, Solid Broadband Corporation, and Uni-Cable TV Inc. for P3.5 billion.
To finance the P3.5 billion acquisition, Valdueza said Sky will try to raise P2 billion in debt and P1.5 billion from equity fund raising.