Disneyland Paris closure hits theme park operator's profits

Disneyland Paris closure hits theme park operator's profits

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The four-day closure of Disneyland Paris following the terrorist attacks in the French capital in November contributed to a drop in the theme park giant’s international operating profit.

The parks and resorts division of the Walt Disney Company saw overall operating profits rise by 22% to $981 million in the three months to January 2.

Theme park revenues for the company’s first quarter increased by 9% year-on-year to $4.3 billion.

The growth in operating income was put down to an increase in its US operations, offset by a decrease in its international businesses.

“Lower operating income at our international operations was due to higher operating costs and lower attendance at Disneyland Paris as well as higher pre-opening expenses at Shanghai Disney Resort.

“Results at Disneyland Paris were impacted by the closure of the park for four days in November 2015,” the company said without detailing the figures.

The results for Walt Disney's parks and resorts division were helped by covering the new year holiday period which fell into the company’s second quarter in the previous year.

Increased guest spending and higher attendances boosted the US resorts business, helped by higher ticket prices at its theme parks and Disney Cruise Line, higher than average hotel room rates and increased spending on food, drinks and merchandise.

Cost rises came from staff and other inflation, new guest offerings and expenses incurred for a dry dock of the ship Disney Dream.  

The company’s overall earnings hit a record $2.9 billion from $2.2 billion a year earlier, powered by the release of the latest Star Wars film.

Chairman and chief executive, Robert Iger, said: “Driven by the phenomenal success of Star Wars, we delivered the highest quarterly earnings in the history of our Company, marking our 10th consecutive quarter of double-digit EPS [earnings per share] growth.

“We’re very pleased with our results, which continue to validate our strategic focus and investments in brands and franchises to drive long-term growth across the entire company.”

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