It sounds like a laugh line, but this piece of news from National Lampoon is real: The company says that during the quarter ending July 31, its revenues grew “1900 percent” to $3.4 million from $167,000 last year. The business has gone through several permutations since forming as a production company in 2002, and has had a lot of catching up to do. The astounding revenue growth was primarily due to “a substantial one-time gain” based on a settlement with Universal Studios in 2007, while no such revenues were recognized in 2008. And since it was only reporting up until the end of its fiscal year, when the economy wasn’t as bad, its growth rates aren’t likely to remain at even close to those levels for long. National Lampoon was able to swing to a profit of $231,575 compared with a net loss of $1,333,500 for the same period in 2007.
As proof that the short-lived good times are coming to an end for the West Hollywood-based entertainment company, National Lampoon plans to reduce “overhead expenses” approximately 20 percent. The budget cuts will target staffing levels and compensation, as well as professional fees, insurance, and other general items. The company didn’t say whether the downturn would slow its acquisition binge, which has included the purchase of six comedy-related websites since May 2007.