Political ads boost ABS-CBN Q1 bottom line

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EARNINGS of ABS-CBN Corp. soared 89% in the first quarter, as revenues got a boost from political ad placements.

The Lopez-led firm posted an attributable net income of P856.35 million in the three-month period ending March, versus P452.54 million in the same period last year.

Consolidated revenues grew 15% to P10.4 billion. Advertising revenues contributing 52% of the total at P5.4 billion, which was 24.4% higher from the same period last year.

In a regulatory filing, ABS-CBN said the growth is brought by both election-related advertisements and regular advertising. “Excluding political placements, regular advertising increased by P633 million or 14.6% higher year-on-year,” it said.

Making up 48% of the company’s total revenues are consumer sales, which grew 6.2% to P4.95 billion, mostly from box-office sales and ABS-CBN TVPlus sales.

The company’s total costs and expenses also went up by 7.6% to P9.44 billion. General and administrative expenses grew by 12.6% to P2.84 billion, which went to content building, information security measures and digital initiatives.

Production costs also expanded 5.7% to P3.26 billion, which was spent on facilities-related expenses and employee-related costs.

The cost of sales and services rose 5.3% to P3.33 billion, due to “the growth of SkyCable’s broadband business which drove bandwidth costs up by P34 million or 2% higher year-on-year.”

ABS-CBN said its capital expenditures and program rights acquisitions totaled P811 million by end-March. — Denise A. Valdez