Increased summer spending at Walt Disney Company theme parks helped push quarterly revenues and profits up despite a slump in attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort amid political protests.
The US entertainment giant’s parks, experiences and products division saw revenues rise by 8% to $6.7 billion in the three months to September 29, with operating income up 17% to $1.4 billion.
An increase in revenue from sales of merchandise based on Frozen and Toy Story was partially offset by lower sales of merchandise based on Mickey and Minnie.
Operating income at international parks and resorts was “comparable” to the same period last year as growth at Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disney Resort was largely offset by a decrease at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
“The increase at Disneyland Paris was driven by higher average ticket prices and attendance growth,” the group said.
“At Shanghai Disney Resort, higher operating income was due to an increase in average ticket prices, partially offset by lower attendance.
“Lower results at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort were due to decreases in attendance and occupied room nights reflecting the impact of recent events.”
Results at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida were “comparable to the prior-year quarter” despite the adverse impact of Hurricane Dorian.
“Increases in guest spending and, to a lesser extent, occupied room nights and attendance were offset by higher costs,” the company said.
“Higher costs were driven by costs associated with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on August 29, and cost inflation.
“Guest spending growth was primarily due to increased food, beverage and merchandise spending and higher average ticket prices.”
High guest spending helped growth at Disneyland Resort in California, partially offset by expenses associated with new attraction Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on May 31, and lower attendance.
“Guest spending growth was primarily due to increases in average ticket prices and higher food, beverage and merchandise spending,” the company said.
No mention was made of Disney Cruise Line.
Overall Walt Disney Company pre-tax income from continuing operations fell by 61% in the three months to $1.25 billion as revenues rose by 34% to £19.1 billion.
Company chairman and and CEO Robert Iger said: “Our solid results in the fourth quarter reflect the ongoing strength of our brands and businesses.
“We’ve spent the last few years completely transforming The Walt Disney Company to focus the resources and immense creativity across the entire company on delivering an extraordinary direct-to-consumer experience, and we’re excited for the launch of [streaming service] Disney+ on November 12.”
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