WWE toy sales decline

Licensing revenues for Q4 were $9.5 million, compared to $12.3 million year-on-year.
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Licensing revenues for Q4 were $9.5 million, compared to $12.3 million year-on-year.

The firm has reported that lower sales of toy, collectable and novelty products more than offset an increase in video game sales in the fourth quarter, ended December 31st 2011.

Revenues related to toys declined 15 per cent, of $1 million, reflecting 'a challenging retail environment for certain toy categories'.

The firm said that sales from the collectable products also declined due to a tough comparison to a successful product launch in 2010.

Meanwhile video games sales increased by £0.4 million, led by sales of the WWE All Stars video game, which launch in March 2011.

The overall Consumer Products revenue for the fourth quarter was $18.7 million compared to $21.9 million in Q4 2010.

For the full year, though, licensing sales increased to £54.4 million, compared to $51.7 million in 2010. However declines in home video and magazine publishing sales meant that overall, the consumer products sector sales were down to $94.9 million from $97.4 million in 2010.

Overall, as a company in the fourth quarter, sales were down to $112.9 million compared to $122.5 million in the fourth quarter 2010. Operating loss was $13.1 million compared to an operating income of $14.4 million in Q4 2010.

Excluding the impact of film impairments and network related expenses in the current year quarter, Adjusted Operating income was $3.1 million as compared to $14.4 million in the prior year quarter.

Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO, commented: "In 2011, we evaluated several paths for creating new programs and distributing all of our content in a way that optimizes its value. Executing this strategy effectively, including the potential creation of a WWE Network, has the power to transform our business.

“While we made significant progress toward this objective, our fourth quarter and full year results were impacted primarily by three items: significant non-cash film impairment charges stemming from the weak performance of our movie releases, strategic decisions to withhold several hours of previously licensed television content for distribution on other platforms, and initial start-up operating expenses associated with our emerging content and distribution strategy.

"Regarding the first item, we have taken several measures to improve the profitability of our movie business. And, regarding the other items, we believe that our ongoing investment to expand and maximize the value of our content is the most potent approach for driving our future earnings.”