Elections boosts ABS-CBN, GMA to profit

Rivals ABS-CBN and GMA Network swung to profit in the first quarter thanks to strong advertising revenues as well as election-related ads for the 13 May mid-terms polls.

ABS-CBN and GMA had a 66% and 55% hike in net income year-on-year, respectively. ABS-CBN's earnings was pegged at P508 million, less than GMA's P603 million.

ABS-CBN's ad revenues climbed 22% to P4.4 billion, which accounted for more than half of the network's consolidated revenue of P7.9 billion. It raked in P300 million in political ads during the January-to-March period.

GMA's 24% jump in consolidated revenues to P3.24 billion in the quarter was also driven by rosy airtime sales of P2.95 billion, a 26% improvement year-on-year. Political ads accounted for 12% of the increase but recurring advertisements still led the revenue growth, equal to 14% of the hike.