WWE up in Q1

Live events, consumer products and digital media sectors all see healthy growth as brand expands global presence.
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World Wrestling Entertainment has seen its revenues boosted to $162.6 million for the first quarter ending March 31st 2008.

This figure is 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 - up from $15.1 million.

All sectors of the company experienced growth, while revenues derived from sales outside of North America were $34.0 million, as compared to $24.1 million in the prior year quarter.

"Our first quarter results reflect the power of our premiere event, Wrestlemania XXIV," said Linda McMahon, CEO at WWE. "Our Wrestlemania brand provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase our creative content and marketing talents across a multitude of media outlets.

"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."

Revenues from the firm's live and televised entertainment businesses were $99.8 million for the current quarter (up from $63.0 million in the prior year quarter - a 58 per cent increase).

Revenues from consumer products, meanwhile, were $43.4 million, up 16 per cent on the same quarter in 2007. Home video net revenues were $14.0 million, while licensing revenues were $26.2 million, as compared to $20.6 million in the prior year quarter.

The increase can primarily be attributed to increases in video games and apparel sales. Video games revenues rose by $5.0 million (reflecting strong sales of Smackdown vs Raw 2008), while revenues related to licensed apparel increased by approximately $0.5 million in the current quarter.

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