March 1, 2013, 11:32 AM

WWE’s web sales drop in Q4 and 2012

But it’s finding revenue via digital distribution of its programming.

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World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s web sales declined 4.8% during the fourth quarter of 2012 from the same period a year ago, the company, No. 492 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported yesterday. 

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, World Wrestling reported:

  • E-commerce revenue decreased 4.8% to $5.9 million from $6.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Total sales were $115.1 million, up 1.9% from $112.9 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Net income was $0.6 million, compared to an $8.6 million loss during Q4 2011.
  • WWE’s e-retail web store WWEShop.com garnered 125,000 orders during the fourth quarter, up 4% from a year ago. Average revenue per order was $47.10.

Online sales accounted for 5.1% of total sales in Q4 2011, down from 5.5% a year ago.

For the year ended Dec. 31:

  • E-commerce sales decreased 5.1% to $14.8 million from $15.6 million in 2011.
  • Total sales in 2012 were flat at $484.0 million compared with $483.9 million in 2011.
  • Net income was $31.4 million, up 26.6% from net income of $24.8 million in 2011.

Online sales accounted for 3.05% of total sales in 2012 compared with 3.2% in 2011.

Although direct-to-consumer merchandise sales on the web declined during the quarter and the year, World Wrestling Entertainment reported a jump in revenue derived from digital content distribution—making it a more lucrative web asset to WWE than selling material goods online at WWEShop. The company says this includes original short-form video content it licenses to Google Inc.’s YouTube and to video-streaming site Hulu. Since September 2012, WWE TV programming has been available to Hulu paid subscribers the day after it airs on television. WWE reports revenue from its digital content increased 129.6% to $6.2 million from $2.7 million in the fourth quarter. For the year, this revenue increased 57.6% to $19.7 million from $12.5 million.

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