Wednesday 16 April 2014

Soaring theme park sales cast spell on Disney

Rachel Weisz as Evanora, one of the witches in ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ – the prequel to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – which helped drive profits at Walt Disney this year.

Walt Disney saw profits jump in the first three months of the year after customer numbers at its US theme parks jumped and a prequel 'Wizard of Oz' movie paid off.

Disney theme parks alone saw sales climb by 14pc as resorts in Florida and California – popular holiday destinations for Irish people – did big business.

Visitors spent more on average and were drawn in by new features like a 'Cars Land' attraction.

Overall, company sales grew by 10pc in the three months ending in March, compared with the same period a year before.

Profits were offset by poor results at Disney's broadcasting division, where profits were down 40pc. TV network ABC suffered from higher programming costs and a fall in advertising sales following ratings slumps.

Chief executive Bob Iger says he wants a stronger primetime line-up at the channel, with more shows produced by ABC rather than other studios.

The studio's next set of results is looking bright given that its current blockbuster, 'Iron Man 3', has grossed $711m (€541m) around the world.

Irish Independent

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