Disney reports marginal two per cent rise in revenue

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Disney has announced that first quarter profits rose by seven per cent to $734 million. Revenues grew marginally by two per cent to $8.9 billion

At the media networks, revenues were up six per cent to $3.7 billion, while operating income rose seven per cent to $606 million. Cable network revenues rose three per cent to $1.9 billion, but operating income fell by 15 per cent to $372 million, in part to higher production costs and new investments at ESPN, and higher programming and marketing costs at ABC Family.

ABC's revenues grew by nine per cent to $1.8 billion and operating income shot up by 87 per cent to $234 million, with higher prime-time advertising revenue following strong upfront sales and continued ratings gains.

Disney CEO Robert Iger says, "I am encouraged by the solid momentum in our earnings and the financial and creative strengths that underpin these results. Our recently announced plan to acquire Pixar advances our efforts against each of that strategy. In addition, the announcement of our proposed combination of the ABC Radio business with Citadel Boradcasting underscores our commitment to maximising the value of our assets for our shareholders, while focusing our capital and management resources toward our core businessess."

On the film front despite The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Chicken Little revenue fell by 13 per cent to $2 billion, while operating income fell by 60 per cent to $128 million. The company attributed the quarter?s results to declines in worldwide theatrical motion picture distribution, domestic home entertainment and television distribution, partially offset by an increase in international home entertainment.

Disney however is hoping that its forthcoming films like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pixar's Cars will improve results.

Disney also announced that it will sell its 22 ABC Radio stations and network to Citadel Broadcasting Corp. of Las Vegas in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.7 billion.

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