Disney Reports Profits Increase

02 February 2005

The mouse that roared ... US analysts and investors incarcerated at the Walt Disney World Hotel in Florida have been treated to the sound of company executives proclaiming long and loud that first quarter profits have beaten expectations.

The Walt Disney Company's results show a 5% increase in net income for the period, and Mouse House executives are noisily confident of double digit growth for the rest of the financial year.

In a presentation at the start of the convention Disney cfo Tom Staggs said: "As this quarter's earnings helped demonstrate, the broad-based improvement in our businesses continues as does our confidence in delivering ongoing growth this year and over the longer run."

Disney posted net income of $723million (€554m, £383m), led by gains for TV sports channel ESPN and the ABC Family Channel. The company's media division saw operating income rise 36% to $467m in Q1.

The theme parks and resorts division also had a good quarter, fuelled by increases in visitor numbers and higher ticket prices. Operating income rose 11% to $258m. The California-based Disneyland 50th anniversary celebrations are expected to give the parks an added boost this year.

The convention comes at the end of a rocky twelve months for Disney. At the same convention last year cable giant Comcast launched an unsolicited takeover bid hours before the start of the presentations.

Since when Michael Eisner has relinquished the company's chair following intensive shareholder pressure, and announced his retirement as ceo in 2006.

Soap-operaphiles have also been treated to the spectacle of a high profile lawsuit over the hiring and firing of former president Michael Ovitz.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff