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In documents filed this morning with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company attributes that growth to holding four conventions in the first quarter of 2014, versus just two last year, better marketing and advertising, and increased admission prices. Each of those events — in Portland, Oregon, New Orleans, Sacramento, California, and Louisville, Kentucky — averaged about $1.3 million in revenues, up from $896,737 in 2013.
However, gross profit in that same period decreased from 46 percent to 37 percent, which Wizard World chalks up to the cost of increased advertising for each convention. The company reported a net profit for the quarter of $692,041.
Operating expenses rose from $690,507 in the first quarter of 2013 to $1.2 million, which the company attributed primarily to an increase in salaries — the number of employees jumped from 10 to 27 — and to the year-end bonus paid to CEO John Macaluso. Meanwhile, income from operations jumped 448 percent, from about $126,000 to $692,000, due to running more and larger events.
“We are excited to kick of the year with great first quarter financial results,” Macaluso said in a statement. “Successfully completing our sixth comic con of our 16-city tour for 2014 this past weekend in Minneapolis, I am proud of our Wizard World team as they continue to demonstrate their commitment and dedication needed to effectively produce an ultimate fan experience at these conventions.”
Wizard World Inc. debuted in January 2011 as a publicly traded company through a reverse merger that was announced at the same time as the closings of Wizard and ToyFare magazines. Wizard founder Gareb Shamus resigned as president and CEO of Wizard World later that year, but remains the largest individual shareholder.