LOS ANGELES: The Walt Disney Company has inked a $350 million (€256m £172.5m) deal with the Club Penguin children's virtual community in a bid to boost its online presence.

The acquisition of the Canuck-based website, aimed at children aged six to 14, gives the Mouse House an immediate foothold in the fast growing phenomenon that is social networking.

Avers ceo Bob Iger: "Club Penguin embodies principles that are of the utmost importance to Disney - providing high-quality family entertainment and fostering parental trust."

The deal was unveiled as Disney said it had exceeded analysts' expectations with its fiscal third-quarter earnings. Net income rose to $1.18 billion from $1.13bn a year earlier, while revenue rose to $9.05bn from $8.47bn in the period ended June 30.

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