WWE shows 'resilience' in 2008

Slight dip in Q4, but full-year shows revenue growth of eight per cent.
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World Wrestling Entertainment has posted its financial results for the fourth quarter 2008 and its full-year.

Revenues for the three months ending December 31st 2008, revenues totaled $125.4 million, as compared to $132.6 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $23.3 million, compared to $24.7 million previously. Net income, meanwhile, stood at $13.6 million ($21.5 million in the prior year quarter).

Total revenues for the 12 months, however, stood at $526.5 million compared to $485.7 million in 2007, an eight per cent increase. Operating income was $70.3 million (up from $68.4 million), while net income was $45.4 million (down from $52.1 million).

"In 2008, WWE demonstrated resilience to a difficult economic environment," said Linda McMahon, CEO. "As these challenges increased during the fourth quarter, we intensified our efforts to improve our operating efficiency.

"By exercising fiscal prudence we believe we can improve the company's earnings and cash flow, as well as strengthen our financial position in anticipation of the ultimate economic recovery."

Revenues from WWE's consumer products businesses were $33.3 million in Q4 versus $35.3 million in the prior year quarter, a six per cent decrease. Out of this, licensing revenues stood at $14.7 million, up from $9.4 million. The increase was primarily a reflection of the recognition of an advance relating to a multi-year contract with a book publisher.

Excluding this revenue, licensing declined 11 per cent or $1.0 million, mainly from lower licensed sales of toys and apparel.


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