WWE Reports Q4 2013 & Full Year Financial Results

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013. Revenues totaled $118.4 million as compared to $115.1 million in the prior year quarter. Operating loss was $12.2 million as compared to income of $2.6 million in the prior year quarter. Net loss was $7.9 million, or $0.10 per share, as compared to income of $0.6 million, or $0.01 per share, in the prior year quarter. OIBDA in the fourth quarter 2013 decreased to a $5.6 million loss from income of $8.5 million in the prior year quarter.

The decline in OIBDA and Operating income was primarily attributable to increased investment in staffing, talent and marketing to support our strategic content initiatives, including the launch of WWE Network. Lower sales of new DVD releases and a corresponding shift in product mix to lower priced catalog titles, as well as compressed television production margins that derived from changes in the mix of programming also contributed to the year-over-year decline.

During the past year, we laid the foundation for future growth and enhanced our brand strength, stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. 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.

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, added George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer. 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.

Comparability of Results

For the full year 2013, OIBDA results included $11.7 million in film impairment charges primarily related to the Companys 2010-2012 film release slate, and an approximate $3.4 million positive impact from the transition of the Company’s video game business to a new licensee in 2013. For the full year ended 2012, OIBDA results included $1.2 million in film impairment charges, and net income included a $4.1 million benefit due to the recognition of previously unrecognized tax benefits. For the fourth quarter 2012, OIBDA results included a $0.5 million in film impairment charges. In order to facilitate an analysis of financial results on a comparable basis, where noted, fourth quarter and full year results have been adjusted to exclude these items. (See Schedule of Adjustments in Supplemental Information).

Three Months Ended December 31, 2013 – Results by Region and Business Segment

Revenues of $118.4 million increased 3% from the prior year quarter based on growth in international markets. Revenues from outside North Americagrew 12%, or $3.4 million, driven by the impact of scheduling three additional events in international markets, stronger performance of our live event tours, and contractual increases in international television agreements. These factors more than offset lower sales of licensed consumer products. North American revenues were essentially unchanged from the prior year quarter as revenue from the release of Christmas Bounty, a made-for TV movie, and the timing impact of an additional pay-per-view event during the quarter were offset by lower home entertainment sales and the impact to television rights from one less episode of Raw.

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