Home Corporate GMA targets P8.2-B profit in 2022

GMA targets P8.2-B profit in 2022

MEDIA giant expects gains from election campaign season. — BW FILE PHOTO

‘Friendly, harmonious, proper’ ties seen with Marcos gov’t

MEDIA giant GMA Network, Inc. expects to grow its net income to P8.2 billion this year from P7.57 billion a year ago, its chairman said on Wednesday.

“The company’s projected net income after tax this year is pegged at P8.2 billion, while the capex (capital expenditure) budget for 2022 is estimated at about P2 billion,”  GMA Network Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Felipe L. Gozon said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

“We are optimistic that earnings post-election heading into fiscal year 2023 will be on track as projected,” he added.

The company expects gains from the recent election campaign season. Mr. Gozon described GMA Network’s 2022 election coverage as the “biggest” and “most expensive” coverage.

When asked about GMA Network’s future under a government run by Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., the son of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Mr. Gozon replied the company has nothing to worry about.

“Because we are compliant with the requirements of our congressional franchise and other applicable laws, we do not expect that we will be encountering legal problems with the new government,” he said.

“We have no reason to believe that our relationship with the new government will not be friendly, harmonious, and proper,” he added.

Under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, lawmakers who supported him rejected the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corp., the former rival of GMA Network in the broadcasting space. The House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises deemed the broadcast network critical of Mr. Duterte “undeserving” of the privilege.

Without ABS-CBN in the free television market, GMA Network easily gained the biggest audience share.

“Based on data from Nielsen, GMA Network was the Number 1 channel in total Philippines [in 2021], with 46% people audience share, reaching 97.5% of total TV households in the country,” Mr. Gozon said.

“We maintained our ratings supremacy in 2022. From January to April 2022, the combined audience share of our free-to-air and DTT (digital terrestrial television) channels reached 57.86% nationwide,” he added.

The media company saw its total revenues for 2021 grow by 16% to P22.45 billion. “Due to the production of fresh programs, consolidated operating expenses climbed by 16%. Benefiting from the reduction in the income tax rate, our resulting net income stood at P7.57 billion, a growth of 26% by far, the highest in our history,” Mr. Gozon said.

Meanwhile, its first-quarter net income grew 5.4% to P2.13 billion from the P2.02 billion earned in the same period a year ago.

“As our core business continues to flourish, we are also energized by new opportunities and potential synergies. Therefore, we established GMA Ventures, our corporate vehicle that will diversify our portfolio by strategic investments in sustainable businesses. We have, so far, invested in a venture capital fund that has given us access to opportunities across Southeast Asia,” Mr. Gozon said.

GMA Network shares closed 8.03% lower at P11.30 apiece on Wednesday. — Arjay L. Balinbin