By Night Owl on 7:06 PM
Major advertising accounts continue to be the key income source of the broadcasting firm since it first exploited the airwaves with a fledgling radio station in 1950.
“We will meet or exceed targets for gross and net revenues,” GMA Network Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Felipe L. Gozon told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of a book launch.
Earlier, Mr. Gozon said 2010 income was likely to grow by 10% to 15% over 2009 levels.
So far, income has surged by 71% to P855 million in the first quarter, from P501 million in the same period last year. A briefing on second-quarter results has been slated for Aug. 12.
This year’s performance will not be solely driven by campaign spending seen in the first half, Mr. Gozon said.
Companies are expected to contribute to second-half advertising revenues since “business is good,” Mr. Gozon said.
“Sixty years ago there was no television yet. But now we are number one,” he said, pointing to an AGB Nielsen Philippines report that the network cornered a 37.2% audience share in “Mega Manila” in the first three months, better than the 35.9% share of rival ABS-CBN Corp. of the Lopez group.
GMA Network traces its beginnings to Loreto F. de Hemedes, Inc. which operated radio station DZBB in 1950 through Robert “Uncle Bob” Stewart, an American war correspondent. It opened a TV station in 1961.
The firm changed its name to Republic Broadcasting System, Inc. in 1974, when the triumvirate of Gilberto M. Duavit, Menardo R. Jimenez, and Mr. Gozon took over the broadcast outfit following the Marcos administration’s decision to ban foreigners from owning media outlets.
In 1996, the firm became known as GMA Network, Inc. It went public in 2007, raising P7.76 billion. A total of P1.338 billion out of P1.538 billion earmarked for expansion has so far been spent.
GMA Network has 46 very high frequency television stations, two ultra high frequency stations, and one affiliate station. It also has 21 radio stations.
It has two international channels -- GMA Pinoy TV launched in 2005 and GMA Life TV launched in 2008.
Last year, profits of GMA Network rose by a fifth to the target P2.8 billion over 2008 levels due to “proactive performance” and “continued operational efficiencies.” Revenues increased by 10% to P13.8 billion from P12.5 billion the previous year.
GMA Network share prices closed at P5.80 apiece on Friday, up by 0.51% from the previous day.