ABS CBN Cebu

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Friday, August 12, 2005

ABS-CBN's Earnings Up

ABS-CBN net P185M in 1st half

Inquirer News Service

WITH robust sales at its overseas subsidiary, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. has reversed from a first-quarter net loss and ended the first half of the year with a net income of P185 million.

The television and radio company of the Lopez group suffered a January-March net loss of P114 million but registered an April-June net profit of P299.37 million.

The six-month profit is down 67 percent from P560 million in the same period last year, but ABS-CBN officials see an improving trend bodes well for the broadcast giant.

Prospects have improved in the July-September quarter, said chief financial officer Randolph Estrellado, citing a year-on-year rise in revenue in July, the first this year.

"The ratings have stabilized compared to the lows in April," Estrellado said. "We are seeing continuing improvements in the numbers."

Company president Luis Alejandro said that next year ABS-CBN would try to regain leadership in ratings and earnings.

ABS-CBN's rating share in Metro Manila improved recently to 38 percent from 27 percent in January-April.

Fierce rival GMA Network Inc. accounted for 43 percent.

"Channel 7 [GMA Network] is nowhere in sight outside of Metro Manila," Alejandro said.

ABS-CBN is taking comfort in its leadership outside of Metro Manila and nearby areas and overseas. As of the April-June quarter, Estrellado said, ABS-CBN was ahead of its competitor in Iloilo City, hometown of the Lopez family.

ABS-CBN Global recorded a sales rise of 19 percent to P1.87 billion, with subscribers up 22 percent, translating to 1.7 million viewers worldwide.

Airtime revenue was down six percent at P5.1 billion from last year's P5.4 billion.

Revenues of other subsidiaries, such as ABS-CBN Films and Star Records, were also down. Clarissa S. Batino, with INQ7.net

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