ABS-CBN Corp. expects to begin using its two sound stages in Bulacan by May, a move the multimedia giant hopes will help cut production costs.

“Sound stages will be operational by May,” ABS-CBN Chief Financial Officer Aldrin M. Cerrado told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s briefing on March 23.

Mr. Cerrado said the company expects to generate savings, which will be used to finance more content production on different platforms.

“We said around 20% (savings), but these are just two sound stages for two programs. That’s 20%, but that’s just two programs out of our total programs. But at least we save money on a specific program,” he said.

“The good thing about is that we save it we now have extra money to create more content on different platforms, including digital.”

The sound stages, located on a property owned by ABS-CBN in Bulacan, will be used for programs that require visual effects and other significant production demands.

Mr. Cerrado had previously said that using a soundstage for filming will reduce filming time compared with filming on location, and will effectively reduce costs by around 10-15%.

ABS-CBN booked a net income of P3.16 billion last year, above the target of P3 billion disclosed earlier in 2017. This, however, was 10% less than the company’s P3.52-billion in earnings in 2016 when the last presidential elections were held.

If one excluded 2016’s election-related revenues and expenses, Mr. Cerrado said net income would have increased 29% in 2017.

ABS-CBN said revenues fell 2% to P40.7 billion in 2017.

“After every presidential election, normally our regular advertising revenue would drop by 10%. If you recall from 2010 to 2011, there was a 10% drop in revenue by ABS-CBN. But in 2017, even after the presidential election, our revenues were flat, so that’s good news for us,” Mr. Cerrado had said.

ABS-CBN was able to spend P7.9 billion in capital expenditures last year from a budget of P8 billion. — PPCM