Lopez Holdings bullish on ABS-CBN's digital operations

Posted at 06/16/14 5:11 PM

Manuel M. Lopez, Lopez Holdings chairman and CEO (3rd from left) is seated beside (from left) Lopez Holdings COO and CFO Salvador G. Tirona, Eugenio "Gabby" L. Lopez III, Lopez Holdings vice chairman and director Washington Z. Sycip. Photo by Jonathan Cellona for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines – Lopez Holdings Corp. is confident that ABS-CBN will meet its targets in executing its digital convergence strategy.

ABS-CBN launched in November last year ABS-CBN Mobile, a telecommunications service in partnership with Globe Telecom.

“ABS-CBN Mobile is gaining traction with its chosen markets because of its highly desired exclusive content using applications like iWantv and iWant Stars. We expect them to reach break-even point by next year,” Lopez Holdings president Salvador Tirona said.

ABS-CBN is expecting to get 1 million ABS-CBN Mobile subscribers by end-2014 and 2 million by 2015.

ABS-CBN Mobile is currently serving prepaid subscribers. It will be available for postpaid subscribers by the third quarter of this year.

Lopez Holdings invested over P1.5 billion while its strategic partner Capital Group invested P2.5 billion to launch ABS-CBN Mobile’s commercial operations and roll out its digital TV service once implementing rules are published.

Lopez Holdings owns 46 percent of First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) and holds a 56 percent economic interest in ABS-CBN Corp.

Energy units under FPH, meanwhile, are improving its operations as more power plants are back on line after being hit by fire and typhoons in 2013.

Property subsidiaries Rockwell Land Corp. and First Philippine Industrial Park are also looking to expand its operations.

“To use a favorite analogy of FPH chairman Federico Lopez, FPH has the right people on the right bus going in the right direction. They are very clear on their objectives and are aware of the risks and challenges along the way,” Tirona said.

Lopez Holdings posted P877 million in net income attributable to equity holders of the parent in the first three months of 2014, down 12 percent from the P1 billion net income it posted a year ago due to a 32 percent increase in finance costs at the level of business units associated with FPH.

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