Disney profit soars on movies, parks, products

06 August 2014

Media company Walt Disney's quarterly profit beat Wall Street expectations, thanks to a strong showing by its Captain America movie, higher attendance at US theme parks and brisk sales of merchandise tied to mega-hit 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-comedy film Frozen, Reuters reported.

Net income was up at $2.2 billion in the quarter ended 28 June, up 22 per cent from the same time last year, the company said last night.

Diluted earnings per share reached a record $1.28, while revenue increased 8 per cent to $12.47 billion.

According to Disney's chief executive Bob Iger, the company's earnings per share for the first three quarters of fiscal 2014 were greater than any previous full fiscal year.

"Our strategy of building strong brands and franchises continues to create great value across our company," Iger said in a statement.

Operating income at Disney's media networks division continued flat at $2.3 billion and declined 7 per cent for the unit's cable networks segment, due to a decline at sports giant ESPN.

ESPN's decline came on higher programming and production costs for Major League Baseball and the FIFA World Cup, as also the absence of ESPN UK, which had been sold, according to Disney.

The company's movie studios continued with their stellar performance, as operating income in the segment more than doubling year-over-year to $411 million, Time magazine reported.

Operating income at Disney's divisions for consumer products and theme parks also increased by more than 20 per cent year-over-year, to $273 million and $848 million, respectively.

Disney's video game division pulled back from a loss of $58 million to a profit of $29 million.

The company attributed its monetary success to Frozen, which according to the company experienced strong home entertainment sales. Films such as Frozen, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent also brought in higher revene during the quarter at the international box office than Disney's roster of films during the same quarter last year.

On the TV front, the World Cup proved a boon for Disney as it became the most-watched soccer event ever in the US, netting gains in advertising revenue for ESPN.

The next quarter promises to be another winner for Disney, on the movie front, with the latest film in the Marvel universe: Guardians of the Galaxy, opening to the largest ever August debut for a film last weekend.

 search domain-b