the quarter ended Dec. 29, the Walt Disney Co. reported a 25% drop
in earnings, to $1.25 billion, compared with $1.68 billion the year
However, earnings for
last year's first quarter were positively affected by one-time
occurrences: the sale of E! Entertainment and Us Weekly magazine as
well as the discontinued operation of the ABC Radio business.
Excluding these items, earnings per share increased 29%.
The company reported
an 11% increase in revenue for parks and resorts, to $2.77 billion,
up from $2.49 billion. Operating income for parks and resorts for
the first quarter was up 25%, to $505 million, compared with $405
million for the same quarter a year prior.
"We aren't going to
predict the economy, [but] we are pleased with the current
attendance at our parks," said Tom Staggs, Disney's senior
executive vice president and CFO. "We feel the unique appeal of our
theme parks will help us make the most of whatever economic
Gains in the parks
and resorts businesses were attributed to income growth at Walt
Disney World, Disneyland Resort Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland
believe we have margin-expansion potential in our parks and resorts
in general, as well as in our adjunct businesses. The cruise ships
would be examples of that, as well as the [Disney] Vacation Club,"
said Bog Iger, president and CEO of Disney. "There clearly is
improvement potential in our international theme parks."
contact reporter Michelle Baran, send e-mail to [email protected].