Walt Disney Company will return to traditional annual earnings growth rates of 20% to 30% within its next two fiscal years.

At least, that’s the prediction of Michael Eisner, the media mammoth’s under-fire chairman/ceo, who confidently forecast Disney would bounce back from a rocky few months and reap the benefits of investments sowed over the last five years.

Eisner’s ebullience came as Disney posted a slide in pro forma earnings for the final quarter of its 2002 fiscal year (ended September) to $222 million (€220m; £140m), down from $250m in Q4 2001. Revenues jumped 15% to $6.7 billion, driven by a 52% surge at Disney’s film division.

Broadcast TV network ABC recovered slightly after suffering badly last year. Ratings and ad sales improved, helping revenues at Disney’s media networks unit to increase 6% to $2.4bn, though operating profits slumped 60% to $147m.

For the full year, net income rose from $891m to $1.3bn, while revenues edged up 1% to $25.3bn. At the group’s media networks, revenues slipped 4% to $9.8bn and operating income slumped 49% to $990m.

Data sourced from: Walt Disney Company; additional content by WARC staff