Earnings of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., the country’s largest multimedia conglomerate, grew nearly six-fold to P1.09 billion in the first quarter of 2010, boosted mainly by higher airtime revenues during the election campaign period.


Political advertising revenues of P1.04 billion, together with the P4.02 billion generated from regular advertisers, brought ABS-CBN’s total ad revenues to P5.06 billion, a year-on-year growth of 83%.

Advertising revenues accounted for 65% of consolidated revenues, which rose 47% to P7.75 billion.

Consumer sales, which contributed the remaining 35% of total revenues, reached P2.69 billion, representing a relatively slower growth of 7%.

Excluding election-related income, ABS-CBN’s profits still surged by 249% to P667 million from P191 million in the first quarter of 2009.

EBITDA for the January to March period of 2010 totaled P2.44 billion, 80% higher year-on-year, and yielding an EBITDA margin of 31%.

ABS-CBN said its total expenses grew by 22% to P5.44 billion, driven mostly by higher production cost and general and administrative expenses.

The conglomerate spent P486 million for capital expenditures in the first 3 months, 24% lower than the P153 million it shelled out a year ago.

Lopez-owned ABS-CBN is the Philippines’ largest media firm with interests in radio, free-to-air and cable television, movie production and publishing. It is a unit of Benpres Holdings Corp. -ABS-CBNnews