Tuesday, February 4, 2014


MANILA – ABS-CBN Corp will refinance an outstanding loan owed to Security Bank.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Lopez-led broadcast firm said its board approved the refinancing of its outstanding obligations under a P1.65 billion loan with Security Bank Corp through a four-year term to be arranged by SB Capital Investment Corp.

Rolando P. Valdueza, ABS-CBN chief financial officer, said the company will use internally generated cash for its loan refinancing.

Earlier, ABS-CBN raised P6 billion from the first tranche of its P10 billion in fixed-rate bonds. The proceeds will be used to finance the company’s capital expenditure program over the next few years.

The company intends to construct sound stages. The planned sound stages will deliver improvements to operations by increasing production quality and reducing costs associated with on-location shoots.

At present, the majority of ABS-CBN's filming is done on-location.

The company will also use part of the proceeds for the rollout of digital terrestrial TV and the expansion of its pay-TV business through Sky Cable.

In the first nine months of 2013, ABS-CBN recorded a profit of P1.89 billion, up by 22 percent from P1.555 billion in the same nine months in 2013.

Consolidated revenues of P25.227 billion from advertising and consumer sales had risen 16 percent from P21.79 billion in 2012.

Advertising revenues reached P14.773 billion, a growth of 20 percent from P12.33 billion in 2012. Consumer sales amounted to P10.454 billion for an 11 percent increase from P9.46 billion in 2012.

Mobile app

ABS-CBN on Monday launched a mobile application aimed at ensuring the safety of passengers in the country.

Called PasaHero, the mobile app allows users to record, plot and broadcast details of their trip via social media and texts and notify family and friends of any danger encountered on the road.

Donald Lim, head of ABS-CBN's digital media division, said when passengers feel threatened they can press the app's "panic" button to activate the phone's video camera, record audio and video files on the device, and send details of their exact location to a customized list of emergency contacts.

"It's very simple and easy to use. Our vision is to make people safer when they go around," Lim said.

To date, PasaHero has been downloaded by 25,000 people to their iOs and Android devices.

ABS-CBN also partnered with Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Land Transportation Office (LTO), as well as other corporate partners for a taxi booking app -- Grab Taxi -- and carpooling app -- Tripid -- for its safety mobile app.

Under the partnership, DOTC, LTFRB, and LTO will help in informing the public about the PasaHero app and educate stakeholders such as bus franchise owners and taxi operators about how the app can help in promoting passenger safety and security.

Michael Arthur Sagcal, spokesperson of DOTC said ABS-CBN's safety mobile app is a "good" step towards achieving safer transportation.

"This is in line with the government's vision to provide a safer transportation for the public," he said.

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