SBD/Issue 121/Finance

SMI Reports Loss For Q4, Cites Motorsports Authentics As Factor

 
SMI yesterday reported a $20.2M loss for Q4 '07, compared with a $28.8M profit for Q4 '06, according to Jefferson George of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Net income for '07 was $38.4M, down more than 65% from $111.2M in '06. While revenues "dipped slightly, expenses skyrocketed." SMI officials blamed the results "mostly on losses at Motorsports Authentics [MA]," the merchandising venture jointly-owned by SMI and ISC. Numerous NASCAR changes -- including new title sponsors for the top two series and drivers changing teams, sponsors and manufacturers -- left "outdated merchandise on shelves and hammered" SMI's bottom line. SMI Chair Bruton Smith, in a statement: "Almost four million fans attended our 2007 events, despite challenging economic circumstances, demonstrating that the demand and appeal for motorsports entertainment remains strong." George notes those gains were "offset by lower NASCAR broadcasting revenues, which were down roughly 12[%] for the quarter and the year" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/13). SMI has sold "all of its NASCAR race sponsorships" for '08 and has only "one Sprint Cup race sponsorship available" for '09. SMI Exec VP/National Sales & Marketing Marcus Smith said that the company has been "pleased with the first two months" of MA, and that MA is "anticipating a break-even year." ISC financial statements indicated that MA last year "lost nearly $43[M]" (SCENEDAILY.com, 3/12).

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