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   Fri, June 13, 2003



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WWE posts loss, revenue falls 20%


The WWE is reporting a loss in its fiscal fourth quarter amid a 20 per cent drop in revenue and the costs associated with closing its Times Square restaurant in New York City. The WWE announced the net loss as being $4.1 million, or six cents a share, for the quarter.

The latest results include an $8.9 million cost related to the WWE closing its The World restaurant in New York City. The WWE reported a loss of $4.1 million, or 6 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended April 30, compared with a profit of $16.0 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues in the quarter fell to $105.9 million from $131.6 million a year earlier.

In a prepared statement, WWE Chief Executive Linda McMahon blamed a weak economy and the abundance of reality-based programming for the downward spiral. The WWE has been struggling with declining television ratings, less people attending live events and fewer people purchasing their pay-per-views.

The revenue breakdown is as follows:

Live events:

  • Revenues of $19.0 million this quarter of 2003 versus $27.9 million for this quarter in 2002.
  • 74 events (5 international) this year as opposed to 78 (3 international) last year.
  • Average attendance is 6,600 this year as opposed to 8,900 last year.

    Pay Per View:

  • Revenues of $31.8 million this year as opposed to $40.6 million last year.
  • Lower buys than last year.
  • TV rights increased from $1.4 million to $15.6 million due to increased international rights fees.

    TV advertising:

  • Revenues of $19.0 million this year as opposed to $21.9 million last year.
  • Raw average rating is 3.8 this year. It was 4.7 last year. Smackdown! averages 3.2 this year. It was 3.9 last year.

    For 2004, WWE expects revenue between $325 million and $ 350 million, with between $260 million and $275 million coming from live and televised events.

    At the close of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday shares of World Wrestling were unchanged at $9.60. WWE stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 25th, 2000. It opened at $15.00 U.S. a share.

    -- SLAM! News Wires