As goes the economy, so go The Wiggles?
The children’s supergroup rang up a $2.5-million (Australian) loss in the last year, its managing director told an Australian newspaper, as a shortened U.S. tour schedule and a dispute with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed it into the red for the first time in more than a decade.
Mike Conway told the Canberra Times it “has been the toughest year I have experienced economically, at the Wiggles or anywhere.”
The group, known for brightly coloured tops and a near-constant touring schedule that draws thousands of toddlers and their resigned parents, has resolved its distribution issues with Wal-Mart. And an improving U.S. economy should mean better tour revenues, the holding company stated.
The group earned $21.4-million in its last fiscal year, compared to $27.3-million a year earlier.
“The reduced period in the U.S. contributed to a $4.2-million drop in performance income, which fell to $15.3-million,” the paper reported. “Other revenue included $4-million from merchandise and $1.5-million from admission fees. Costs included $16.6-million in sales expenses and $4-million paid to employees.”
The company’s owners – Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt, Red Wiggle Murray Cook, Blue Wiggle Anthony Field and managers Paul Field and Mr. Conway – said they are confident the show will go on.