GMA Network

GMA to fund tech start-ups

Ralf Rivas
With windfall earnings amid the pandemic, GMA Network moves to be a conglomerate by focusing on sunrise industries

Media giant GMA Network is turning itself into a conglomerate by focusing on sunrise industries like tech start-ups.

On Friday, July 16, GMA said it was setting up GMA Ventures (GVI), a holding company that will tap new markets and revenue streams by “identifying, investing in, and/or building strong and sustainable businesses.”

“Aiming to be at the forefront of technology advancement and the growth of the digital economy, it will likewise engage in mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and fund investments within or outside the Philippines,” it said.

The move comes a year after the Kapuso network rolled out its digital TV products, and the windfall in earnings amid the closure of rival network ABS-CBN.

“Following the successful rollout of our digital TV products and a banner year in 2020, we are looking at surpassing our own achievements not just in terms of our main media business and content production. We are actively looking for ways to diversify the company’s portfolio by investing in sustainable businesses and, ultimately, providing the best returns to our shareholders in the years to come,” said GMA Network and GVI chairman and chief executive officer Felipe Gozon.

“While we tirelessly work on maintaining GMA’s leadership position within the industry, we also intend to further contribute to the growth of the Philippine economy as we protect and increase our shareholder value. GMA Ventures will be our arm in identifying other viable sources of revenue and future profit pools,” said GMA president and chief operating officer and GVI’s vice chairman Gilberto Duavit Jr. 

The network’s income grew a whopping 130.7% from P2.6 billion in 2019 to P6 billion in 2020 as rival network ABS-CBN was denied a franchise by Congress, propelling the advertising revenue of GMA.

Its profits climbed by a whopping 248% to almost P2 billion in the first quarter of 2021 from the P574 million a year ago as a deluge of advertising placements paired with tax cuts boosted the company’s bottom line.

Advertising revenues leaped 57% to P5 billion, overtaking the year-ago level of P1.8 billion. Ad revenues had a 93% share of the total consolidated revenues.

GMA shares plunged 4.7% on Friday. The disclosure on GVI was sent to the press hours after the stock market closed. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.