Television

Disney Q1 net profit grows on DVD sales

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MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Disney blew past Wall Street expectations as it reported strong first quarter earnings on gains from the sale of its shares in US Weekly magazine and the E! Entertainment channel.

Even without the one-time gains, which boosted earnings by 29 cents per share, the media conglomerate beat analyst forecasts by 11 cents per share on strong performance from sales of DVDs, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

In the quarter ended 30 December 2006, Disney earned $1.7 billion, or 79 cents a share, which includes a gain of 39 cents a share from the sale of Disney's stake in E! Networks and Us Weekly. Excluding the gains, the earnings did top analyst estimates of 39 cents a share.

Quarterly revenues were $9.73 billion, driven by DVD sales of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Cars and High School Musical along with strong results from ABC and ESPN.

Net income rose from $734 million in the first quarter last year to $1.7 billion. Revenue grew 10 per cent to $9.7 billion. Disney CEO Bob Iger said, "These results are particularly gratifying given the great year we had in 2006 and are another clear sign our strategy is driving growth and creating shareholder value."

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