WWE released their full year 2013 financial results on Thursday morning, reporting $508 million in total revenue (up from $484 million in 2013). Despite taking in more than half a billion dollars, the company was barely profitable, with Operating Income of only $5.9 million (down from. $43.2 million in 2012). Net Income was $2.8 million (down from $43.2 million in 2012).
The revenue increase was primarily driven by increases in domestic business and in the Live Event/TV division. Domestic business accounted for 77.1% of total revenue in 2013, up from 75.6% in 2012 and 72.4% in 2011. WWE attributed the decline in international business to “lower sales of consumer products” that “more than offset contractual increases in international television agreements.”
WWE explained that their heavy spending was “building for the future” – on infrastructure for the WWE Network and other long-term projects.
In a press release issued by WWE, WWE CEO Vince McMahon stated:
“During the past year, we laid the foundation for future growth and enhanced our brand strength. We have now announced the renewal of our television distribution agreement in the U.K., are continuing the negotiations regarding our domestic content, and are poised to launch our global WWE Network in the next few days. With preparations for WrestleMania 30 fully underway, we look forward to celebrating our enduring legacy and ushering in a new era as we blaze new trails in the media industry.”
WWE financial executive George Barrios added onto the TV negotiations item after discussing WWE’s long-term planning.
“As we prepared to transform our business, we invested in content production and talent. Although our earnings declined in 2013, our performance was in-line with our guidance, which targeted a range of OIBDA results, excluding film impairments, of $40 million to $50 million.”
“Regarding our domestic TV licensing agreements, we are now engaged with potential partners after exiting our exclusive negotiating period with NBCU. Based on our analysis of the value of comparable programs and our extensive research regarding consumer interest in WWE Network, we continue to believe that we can double or triple our 2012 OIBDA results of $63 million by 2015.”