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ABS-CBN says  upward trend  to continue

ABS-CBN Corp. is confident of keeping the upward trend of its figures this year as it transitions from broadcasting to content production while targeting to regain profitability soon.

“We are confident in the upward trend of our numbers and expect 2023 to be even better than last year. While we are not yet where we want to be, we are certainly well on our way to getting here,” ABS-CBN President Carlo L. Katigbak said at the company’s annual stockholders meeting on Thursday.

“We reiterate our commitment to regain profitability and to emerge a better and stronger company in the near future. Likewise, even as we transition from broadcast to storytelling, we remain faithful to our mission of being in service for the Filipino people,” Mr. Katigbak said.

To do this, the company is eyeing more partnerships with local and international companies to widen its reach.

“We’re willing to work with any partner who is willing to bring our programs to their audiences. Whether those are free TV, pay TV, or online streaming,” Mr. Katigbak said.

On May 23, the company said that it had entered a joint venture with media company Prime Media Holdings, Inc. for content development, production and distribution.

Meanwhile, Mr. Katigbak said the sale of Sky Cable Corp. is strategic despite it being one of the surviving assets after the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

“The primary growth area for Sky Cable is its broadband services. For Sky Cable to continue to be competitive and succeed in the market today, the company will need to invest a lot of capital to expand and uplift its broadband services,” he said.

He said neither ABS-CBN nor Sky Cable is in a position to invest “this kind of money at this time.” Rather than see its market share shrink, “we believe this is a good time to sell the company,” he added.

In March, PLDT Inc. disclosed its plan of acquiring Sky Cable for P6.75 billion in a move to strengthen both companies’ coverage and services. The sale and purchase agreement covers 100% of Sky Cable’s total issued and outstanding capital stock consisting of around 1.38 billion common shares.

In its latest briefing, PLDT said the acquisition was being reviewed by the Philippine Competition Commission.

Beginning March 1, acquisitions that breach a “size of party” of P7 billion and a “size of transaction” of P2.9 billion require transacting parties to notify the commission for a mandatory merger review.

In the first quarter, ABS-CBN suffered an attributable net loss of P1.16 billion, narrowing the P1.38-billion loss it incurred a year ago.

Its top line reached P4.26 billion, down 8.3% from P4.65 billion previously. Advertising and subscription revenues still accounted for the largest portion.

ABS-CBN’s advertising revenues reached P2.34 billion, up 57.8% from P1.48 billion, while subscription revenues declined 42.6% to P1.48 billion from P2.57 billion.

On Thursday, shares in the company declined five centavos or 0.67% to P7.45 each. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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