TV, Parks, Consumer Products Perform Profit Gains for Disney's Third Quarter

The Walt Disney Co. reports an improved profits of $1.2 billion, a 4.7% gain, on revenues of $9 billion, for the third quarter and nine months ended June 30, 2007, a 6.7% rise on the same period last year. The company credited strong TV program sales and higher theme park attendance for the gain.

Operating income in its Media Networks group jumped 23% to $1.358 billion.

Revenues at the company's movie studio, which released Pixar Animated Studios' RATATOUILLE toward the end of the quarter, rose 4% to $1.78 billion. However, mostly because of lower DVD sales, operating income dropped 20% to $192 million.

The improvement in international theatrical distribution was driven by the strong performance of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLDâS END in the current quarter. On the domestic theatrical distribution side, the strong performance of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLDâS END was offset by higher distribution costs driven by marketing expenses for RATATOUILLE, which was released late in the current quarter.

At the Parks and Resorts division, which includes Florida's Walt Disney World theme park, revenue rose 6% percent to $2.9 billion and profit went up 13% to $621 million. There was higher spending and greater attendance at Disney World, while higher ticket prices at Disneyland in Southern California helped increase revenues there.

Net income for the prior-year quarter was favorably impacted by a $30 million net benefit associated with the completion of the Pixar acquisition ($0.01 per share). Also, during the quarter, Disney concluded a probe into backdated stock options at its Pixar division.

Consumer products sales jumped 23% to $549 million, while profit increased 12% at $118 million, aided by licensing revenue from toys, clothing and books based on such films as Pixar's CARS and its self-published videogame based on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLDâS END.

"We've again achieved strong results by focusing on doing what we do best; building high-quality creative franchises across multiple platforms and multiple markets," said Robert A. Iger, Disneyâs president/ceo.

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