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ABS-CBN swings to loss as ad, consumer revenues fall

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PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

ABS-CBN Corp. swung to a net loss in the third quarter as advertising and consumer revenues dropped after the closure of its broadcast and digital TV operations, and amid the public health crisis.

The listed media company reported a net loss of P3.33 billion for the third quarter compared with the attributable net income of P813.03 million it posted in the same period last year.

The company’s third-quarter revenues dropped 66.9% to P3.72 billion. Its total expenses declined 31.5% to P6.92 billion.

These brought the company’s nine-month total revenues to P17.03 billion, down 46.8% from the P32.03 billion it reported in the same period last year.

In the nine months through September, the company’s net loss attributable to parent equity holders hit P7.25 billion compared with the net income of P2.37 billion it earned in the same period in 2019.

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ABS-CBN said that for the nine-month period, it generated P17 billion from its advertising and consumer sales, 46.8% lower year-on-year.

“Advertising revenues suffered a sharp decline in the second quarter of 2020 following the issuance on May 5, 2020, by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) to the company, prohibiting its continuing broadcast operations effective immediately,” ABS-CBN noted.

The NTC also issued on June 30 a CDO against the company’s digital TV transmission in Metro Manila using channel 43. Prior to this, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted to adopt a resolution denying the franchise application of ABS-CBN.

“These events, in addition to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic that the country is facing, drove down both the advertising and consumer revenues of the company,” ABS-CBN said.

Shares in ABS-CBN on Monday closed 0.17% lower at P11.62 apiece. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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