ABS-CBN sets profit guidance of P1.8-B to P2-B for 2014

Posted at 02/10/14 12:41 PM

ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III leads the ringing of the bell at the listing of ABS-CBN's P6 billion bonds at the PDEX with ABS-CBN execs, PDEx officials, and bankers.

MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN Corp. has set a profit target of P1.8 billion to P2 billion for this year, as the broadcasting giant expands to digital TV, mobile phone business and theme parks.

This year's profit guidance is steady from last year's P2 billion, which ABS-CBN group chief finance officer Ron Valdueza says would beat analyst estimates.

On Monday, ABS-CBN listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. P6 billion worth of retail bonds it issued two weeks ago.

"I consider this a milestone for our company. Through this transaction, we were able to raise P6 billion but I think the importance of this bond goes beyond simply raising the target amount. The issue was oversubscribed and we could have probably raised the authorized amount of P10 billion if we opted to," ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez said during the listing ceremony.

"We have set a benchmark for this issue and successfully accessed the market that could become an important source of financing for our future endeavors. We will probably be back before 2021, probably to pay off this one. This transaction should raise our profile before the investing community and hopefully lower our funding costs later on," he added.

ABS-CBN said it will use the fresh capital to expand its digital terrestrial TV capacity, build its stock of TV programs and movies and construct sound stages. It is also building a children's theme park called "Kidzania."

Lopez noted the company is probably three years ahead of competition in switching to digital.

"We placed our bets early on, having made investments in this standard. We are probably three years ahead of everybody else in terms of rolling out digital TV. This should give us first mover advantage as the country transitions from analog to digital. We are now ready to expand our free-to-air channel offerings to an additional five channels from two channels currently once the implementing rules and regulations are released," Lopez said.

The National Telecommunications Commission has already ordered television stations to shift from the current analog to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

The Philippines chose Japan’s system mainly because of its integrated emergency warning broadcast system, which can be useful in typhoons, floods and earthquakes. - With report from Coco Alcuaz, ANC

ABS-CBN Corp. is the parent company of ABS-CBNnews.com and ANC.