WWE Releases Fourth Quarter Results; 2021 Revenue Tops One Billion

February 5, 2022

WWE released its financial report for both the fourth quarter of 2021 and the full year on Thursday, confirming that it was the most profitable year in the company’s history. In terms of annual revenue, the company brought in $1.095 billion, a company record and the first time its annual revenue eclipsed one billion dollars without being adjusted for inflation. Taking that adjustment into consideration, the company has broken one billion each year since 2018. It also brought in a record annual net income of $180.4 million.

Per WWE:

Fourth Quarter 2021 Highlights

  • Revenue increased 30% to $310.3 million.
  • Operating income increased 131% to $83.6 million.
  • Adjusted OIBDA1 increased 90% to $97.2 million.
  • Returned capital to shareholders totaling $59.0 million, including share repurchases and dividends paid.

Full Year 2021 Highlights

  • Revenue increased 12% to $1.095 billion, the highest in the Company’s history.
  • Operating income increased 24% to $259.0 million.
  • Adjusted OIBDA1 increased 14% to a record $327.1 million.
  • Launched WWE Network content on Peacock, NBCU’s streaming service in the U.S., providing a larger audience and increasing viewership for WWE’s premium live shows, original series, and vast library.
  • Announced a new strategy for premium live events, which focuses on staging these events in stadiums rather than arenas, while utilizing targeted dates to maximize WWE’s live audience potential.
  • Completed consumer product deals including partnerships with Blockchain Creative Labs (Fox) to launch an NFT marketplace and with Panini to be the exclusive provider of WWE trading cards,
  • Created the Next in Line program to recruit the next generation of WWE Superstars, which was initiated with 16 collegiate athletes, including Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson,
  • Returned capital to shareholders totaling $202.0 million, including share repurchases and dividends paid,

2022 Business Outlook

  • The Company outlines its expectations for 2022, which assume ticketed audiences at the Company’s live events for the full year, and target record revenue and an Adjusted OIBDA range of $360 – $375 million, which would be an all-time record. This range of anticipated performance reflects the continued ramp-up of live events, including large-scale international events, and increased monetization of content, partially offset by increased production, content-related, and other expenses.
  • Management believes WWE is well positioned to capitalize on significant future opportunities. In 2022, key initiatives that could have meaningful implications for long-term growth include the licensing of WWE Network in international markets, monetization of new original series, the licensing of Raw second window rights, further progress with sponsorship sales, and the continued execution of WWE’s stadium strategy for premium live events.

(See 2022 Business Outlook discussion on pages 8-9 for additional information)

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021.

“In 2021, we reached a significant milestone of over $1 billion in revenue, for the first time in the Company’s history. We ended the year with strong performance across each of our business lines that reflected the engagement of a wider audience with distribution on new digital platforms, including Peacock, and the return of fans at our live events,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “We expect the execution of key initiatives in the coming year, such as the licensing of network content in international markets, monetization of new original series, and the continued shift to a stadium strategy for WWE’s premium live events, will further expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content.”

“For the year, we achieved record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA, which exceeded the high end of our guidance. Adjusted OIBDA increased 14% reflecting higher revenue and profit from the distribution of network programming on Peacock, the contractual escalation of rights fees for our flagship shows, Raw and SmackDown, and the return of ticketed audiences to our live events,” added Frank Riddick, WWE’s Chief Financial Advisor. “In 2022, we anticipate Adjusted OIBDA of $360 million to $375 million, reflecting the full-year performance of our ticketed live events as well as the increased production and monetization of content.”

Below is the full quarterly earnings call provided by FightFul.

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