Disney Profits Increase by 54 Percent in First Quarter

Spurred by growth in most of its segments over the same time period last year, Disney has reported a 54 percent profit growth in the first quarter of its fiscal year.

The numbers are impressive:  the company stated that it made $1.3 billion for the quarter ending January 1, an increase from $844 million earned in the same time period last year, topping Wall Street expectations and sending stock past the previous 52-week high during after-hours trading.

Largely responsible for the jump in profit was Disney’s most successful business segment, its film studio.  The combination of the wildly successful “Toy Story 3,” plus fewer poorly performing films as well as cost-cutting measures across the board bagged a 54 percent profit in this business segment, mirroring the company’s overall success.  Disney networks, the company’s largest division, also saw impressive growth of $1.1 billion, or 47 percent.

Theme parks and consumer products also made respectable gains in profit of 25 percent ($468 million) and 28 percent ($312 million) respectively.  The last two segments are particularly telling, as they denote some rebound in customer spending, which occurred in the theme park segment, even as Disney quietly began removing many of the incentives and discounts that it offered to bolster business during the latest recession.

Only Disney’s smallest segment, Disney Interactive Media, posted a loss of $13 million, up from the $10 million short fall during the same period last year.

Overall, CEO Bob Iger is pleased with the performance, stating that “it’s a great start to a new fiscal year.”



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