ABS-CBN H1 Profit Drops on Weak Sales, Ad Revenues

ABS-CBN Corporation, the country's largest multi-media network, posted lower first-half profits at P1.7 billion, down 26% on weak sales and lower advertising revenues.

The profit drop was limited due to a P674-million one-time gain on the sale of Sky Cable Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to Singapore's STT Communications.

However, it was not enough to make up for the absence of political advertising which totaled P1.3 billion in the midst of national and local elections last year.

Consolidated revenues hit P13.9 billion, a decline of 18% on year. Advertising revenues likewise dipped 24% at P8.8 billion.

Stripping out the sale of Sky Cable's PDRs and political advertising last year, total revenues rose 1% and advertising revenues at 4%.

Consumer sales for the first half was also down 4% at P5.1 billion, mainly from ABS-CBN Global, while revenues dropped 14% on year, on lower subscriber growth and stronger peso versus the dollar.

ABS-CBN Global's overall viewer count dropped 1% on year, led by declines in the Middle East, Europe and Japan, but it's the contrary in markets like Canada, Asia-Pacific and Australia.

The company set a P3 billion profit target for 2011, which the firm acknowledged may be tough to achieve.

"It will be a challenging year," ABS-CBN chief financial officer Ron Valdueza said.

ABS-CBN Corp. is the parent firm of ABS-CBNNews.com.