“WWE® Reports 2008 First Quarter Results”
STAMFORD, Conn. (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.) May 6, 2008 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2008. Revenues totaled $162.6 million as compared to $107.4 million in the comparable prior year quarter. Operating income was $27.1 million as compared to $20.6 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $19.5 million, or $0.27 per share, as compared to $15.1 million, or $0.21 per share, in the prior year quarter.
“Our first quarter results reflect the power of our premiere event, WrestleMania® XXIV. Our WrestleMania brand provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase our creative content and marketing talents across a multitude of media outlets,” stated Linda McMahon, Chief Executive Officer.
“In addition to posting solid financial results in the first quarter, we are actively expanding our global brand presence through our newly established international offices. During the quarter, we also announced and paid our first quarterly cash dividend at the increased rate of $0.36 per share for all shares not owned by the McMahon family. As we continue to take the next steps forward, we remain focused on delivering value to our shareholders for the long term,” she added.
Comparability of Results
WrestleMania XXIV occurred on March 31, 2008 and is included in our first quarter results. WrestleMania 23 occurred on April 1, 2007 and was therefore included as part
of our second quarter results in 2007. WrestleMania XXIV contributed in the aggregate
approximately $31.3 million of revenues and $7.1 million of profit contribution ($4.6 million, net of tax), to our results for the first quarter of 2008, whereas WrestleMania 23 contributed in the aggregate approximately $31.4 million of revenues and $9.7 million of profit contribution ($6.6 million, net of tax) in the second quarter of 2007.
Live and Televised Entertainment
Revenues from our Live and Televised Entertainment businesses were $99.8 million for
the current quarter as compared to $63.0 million in the prior year quarter, representing a 58% increase.
· Live Event revenues were $24.6 million as compared to $18.2 million in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the inclusion of WrestleMania XXIV in the current quarter. WrestleMania XXIV generated approximately $5.9 million in revenue in the current quarter.
· There were 74 events, including eight international events during the current quarter, as compared to 71 events, including eight international events, in the prior year quarter.
· North American average attendance was approximately 7,200 in the current
quarter as compared to 6,900 in the prior year quarter, an increase of 4%. The average ticket price for North American events was approximately $45.39 in the current quarter as compared to $36.30 in the prior year quarter. Excluding the impact of WrestleMania, North American average attendance was 6,300 and average ticket price was $38.08 in the current quarter.
· PayPerView revenues were $41.2 million as compared to $15.8 million in the prior
year quarter. There were three PayPerView events produced in each quarter; however, as discussed above, WrestleMania XXIV occurred in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, and WrestleMania 23 occurred in the second quarter of fiscal 2007.
We eliminated the New Year’s Revolution payperview event in 2008 and we will
produce 14 payperview events in 2008 as compared to 15 events in 2007.
· The WrestleMania XXIV buys generated approximately $23.8 million in revenue. In 2007, WrestleMania 23 generated approximately 1.2 million buys and $24.6 million in revenue, which was recorded during the second quarter of 2007.
· The North American retail price of WrestleMania XXIV was $54.95 as compared
to $49.95 for WrestleMania 23 in 2007.
· Venue Merchandise revenues were $5.6 million as compared to $5.2 million in the
prior year quarter.
· Television Rights Fees revenues were $24.0 million as compared to $21.9 million
in the prior year quarter. This increase is primarily due to the rights fees received
from our international broadcast partners.
· WWE 24/7™ revenues were $1.6 million as compared to $1.0 million in the prior
year quarter. The increase in revenues reflects the growth in the number of subscribers for our videoondemand program as we expanded our availability.
Revenues from our Consumer Products businesses were $43.4 million versus $37.4
million in the prior year quarter, representing a 16% increase.
· Home Video net revenues were $14.0 million as compared to $13.4 million in the
prior year quarter. We shipped over 175,000 units of both “The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin™” and “Triple H®: King of Kings™” DVD titles in the current
· Licensing revenues were $26.2 million as compared to $20.6 million in the prior
year quarter, primarily reflecting increases in videogame sales and apparel. Videogame revenues increased by $5.0 million, reflecting the strong sales of our SmackDown® vs. Raw® 2008 title, while revenues related to licensed apparel increased by approximately $0.5 million in the current quarter.
· Magazine publishing net revenues were $2.9 million, essentially flat as compared
to the prior year quarter.
Revenues from our Digital Media related businesses were $8.1 million as compared to
$7.0 million in the prior year, representing a 16% increase.
· WWE.com revenues were $4.5 million as compared to $2.8 million in the prior year
quarter, reflecting $1.1 million of additional advertising related revenues and $0.4
million of additional revenues from our wireless content.
· WWEShop revenues were $3.6 million as compared to $4.0 million in the prior year
quarter, reflecting an 18% decrease in the number of orders processed during the current quarter. The average amount spent by our customers per order was
approximately $51.00, which was approximately 5% higher than the prior year quarter.
Revenues from our WWE Films segment in the first quarter of 2008 were $11.3 million
relating to our feature films “See No Evil” and “The Marine”. We have approximately
$16.8 million of capitalized film production costs on our balance sheet as of March 31,
2008. No revenues were recorded in the prior year quarter.
Profit Contribution (Net revenues less cost of revenues)
Profit contribution was $62.6 million in the current quarter as compared to $49.3 million in the prior year quarter. Total profit contribution margin was approximately 39% in the current quarter as compared to 46% in the prior year. The decline in profit contribution margin primarily reflects additional costs associated with the production of WrestleMania XXIV at an outdoor stadium as well as the significant advertising and promotional related expenses in support of our premiere event.
Selling, general and administrative expenses
SG&A expenses were $33.0 million for the current quarter as compared to $26.4 million
in the prior year quarter, reflecting increases in marketing and staff related expenses.
EBITDA was approximately $29.6 million in the current quarter as compared to $22.9
million in the prior year quarter.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $15.0 million for the three months ended
March 31, 2008 as compared to $24.7 million in the prior year quarter.
Additional business metrics are made available to investors on a monthly basis on our
corporate website – corporate.wwe.com. Note: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. will host a conference call on May 6, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. ET to discuss the Company’s earnings results for the first quarter of 2008. All interested parties can access the conference call by dialing 8008945910 (conference ID: WWE). Please reserve a line 15 minutes prior to the start time of the conference call. A presentation that will be referenced during the call can be found at the Company web site at corporate.wwe.com. A replay of the call will be available approximately three hours after the conference call concludes, and can be accessed at corporate.wwe.com.
Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be
found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to
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Forward Looking Statements: This news release contains forwardlooking
statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast
television, cable television, payperview, Internet, feature films, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and
renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our
dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.