Disney Reports 5 Percent Q1 Profit Increase

Jan 31, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Walt Disney Co. on Monday reported a 5 percent increase in fiscal first-quarter profit as the media giant’s theme parks and television operations slightly offset a weak performance at the company’s movie studio.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Disney reported a profit of $723 million, or 35 cents a share, up 5 percent from a year-earlier figure $688 million, or 33 cents a share. Revenue advanced 1 percent to $8.7 billion.

Disney’s media networks division, which includes ABC as well as cable networks ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC Family, reported an 11 percent surge in revenue to $3.5 billion and a 36 percent jump in segment operating profit to $467 million.

The company attributed the division’s growth mainly to strong performances at the cable networks, with ESPN as the standout thanks to higher affiliate-fee revenue and strong advertising sales.

Meanwhile, ABC, whose ratings have improved this season, wasn’t able to fully monetize those gains in the quarter, and as such drained $8 million from division’s overall operating profit number. However, those numbers were offset partly by strong political advertising gains at ABC-owned-and -operated television stations and greater ad revenue due to airing more National Football League and college football games.