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Disney profit rises 11% in its fiscal third quarter

August 9, 2011 |  2:44 pm

Cars2 
Walt Disney Co. reported a jump in net income for its fiscal third quarter, buoyed by the  strong performance of its cable television channels and theme parks.

The company reported a net income of nearly $1.47 billion for the quarter ended July 2, up 11% from the same period a year earlier.  Revenue rose to $10.67 billion, a gain of 7% from the same period last year.

However, the Burbank entertainment conglomerate's earnings were affected by a charge of $34 million at the film studio related to layoffs in June. The troubled interactive group also saw its losses deepen compared with a year earlier.

Analysts had expected Walt Disney Studios to report a difficult quarter, despite the more than $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Disney said its summer releases, which included Pixar Animation Studios' "Cars 2,"  did not match the theatrical performance of the previous year, which saw the releases of "Toy Story 3" and "Iron Man 2." Revenue for the film studio was essentially flat at $1.6 billion, but operating income declined 60% to $49 million from a year ago.

The Interactive Media Group reported that its revenue for the quarter increased 27% to $251 million the year earlier, reflecting stronger sales of console games Lego Pirates of the Caribbea" and Cars 2. However, losses deepened to $86 million -- a drop of 32% from a year ago, partly because of how it accounted for last summer's purchase of social-gaming division Playdom.

Disney's media networks group, which includes its ABC television network as well as its lucrative ESPN cable TV network, posted an operating income of nearly $2.1 billion for the quarter, up 11% from a year ago. Revenue rose 5% to nearly $5 billion.

The parks and resorts posted operating income of $519 million  -- a gain of 9% from the comparable period a year earlier. Revenue rose 12% to nearly $3.2 billion, driven by increased spending at Disney's domestic parks and resorts, the Disney Cruise Line and the Hong Kong Disneyland resort. Tokyo Disney Resort is still recovering from the March earthquake and tsunami, which forced the temporary closure of two theme parks and hotels.

Consumer products operating income for the quarter jumped 32% to $155 million, due to strong sales of "Cars" merchandise and higher revenue from its Marvel comic book characters. The division's revenue rose 13% to $685 million.

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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo:  A scene from Disney-Pixar's recently released movie, "Cars 2." Credit: Associated Press

 

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