Cruise line, theme parks propel Disney profit
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  1. #1
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    Cruise line, theme parks propel Disney profit

    Cruise line, theme parks propel Disney profit



    A new cruise ship and improving theme park trends helped drive double-digit profit growth for the Walt Disney Co. during the final three months of 2011.


    The Burbank, Calif.-based entertainment company said Tuesday that it earned $1.5 billion during the three months that ended Dec. 31, a 12 percent increase from a year ago. Total sales inched up 1 percent to $10.8 billion for the quarter, the first of Disney's fiscal year.

    Disney's theme-park division, often viewed as a barometer of national consumer spending, set the pace. Operating profit at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts jumped 18 percent, to $553 million, on sales that rose 10 percent, to $3.2 billion. Both increases were the biggest at any of Disney's five main segments, which also include television networks, a movie studio, consumer products and interactive media.

    Disney Cruise Line Disney Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told analysts he was "very pleased with recent attendance and pricing trends," as combined attendance at the company's two U.S. resorts — Walt Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. — rose 3 percent for the quarter and guest spending jumped 8 percent on higher ticket prices and better food-and-beverage sales.

    But business appears to have been better in Southern California than in Central Florida. Iger noted that Disneyland has "seen strong results lately" but made no mention of Disney World's performance.

    Other recent metrics have suggested a subpar December locally. Both occupancy and room rates at non-Disney hotels around Orlando, as well as Orange County hotel-tax collections, all slipped during the month.

    A Disney spokesman declined to provide any Disney World-specific details.

    Occupancy in the company's U.S. hotels was flat for the quarter, but per-room spending rose 6 percent on higher rates and fewer discounted room nights. Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo called the results "further evidence" that the company's efforts to wean travelers off of promotions "continues to pay off."

    While Disney vacationers are paying higher rates, they have not yet begun booking their vacations further in advance. Rasulo said Disney's booking window — the period of time between when a traveler books a trip and when they actually visit — remains at about 13 weeks, narrower than the company's historic average.

    Looking ahead, Disney said domestic hotel bookings and room rates for the January-through-March quarter are both pacing ahead of last year by mid-single-digit percentages.
    The other bright light in Disney's vacation business was its cruise line, where earnings have surged since the January 2011 launch the company's third ship, the $900 million Disney Dream. The 4,000-passenger ship has been sailing short Bahamian cruises out of Port Canaveral.

    A fourth ship, the Disney Fantasy, recently completed sea trials in the Northern Atlantic and is scheduled to make its maiden voyage out of Port Canaveral on March 31. Analysts expect Disney Cruise Line will at that point mushroom into a billion-dollar business in its own right.

    Across the rest of the company, television networks — and particularly ESPN, Disney's perennial cash cow —— remained the largest contributor to company earnings. Operating income at Disney's media networks rose 12 percent for the quarter to $1.2 billion, as higher affiliate revenue at ESPN and the Disney Channel cable stations more than offset declines at broadcast station ABC.

    Operating income at Disney's movie studios rose 10 percent, to $413 million, even though total revenue shrank 16 percent, which Disney said was the result of a strategic decision to produce a smaller slate or higher-margin movies.

    Profits were flat at $313 million at Disney's consumer productions unit and an operating loss widened to $28 million at Disney's interactive media division. But Iger predicted the interactive media unit, the company's newest and smallest unit, would turn profitable by Disney's 2013 fiscal year.


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    Rick
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  2. #2
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    Re: Cruise line, theme parks propel Disney profit

    Would just be better if they made the park tickets a little more affordable for people!
    Life is not measured by the breaths we take, But by the moments that take our breaths away!

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymommyx2
    Would just be better if they made the park tickets a little more affordable for people!
    I agree with that.
    Have a Great Day

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  4. #4
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    That would be nice, they need to pay their cast members a little more too. Most of the College Program participants get paid minimum wage, and that's not enough for what they have do deal with.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cruise line, theme parks propel Disney profit

    I agree with all of the above, but I would settle for not raising any prices for the resorts and parks.
    Rick
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our childen"
    Walt Disney
    Talk Disney Administrator

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