Revenue at theme parks rose 6 per cent to $3.76bn, pushing up the unit’s operating income 24 per cent, as ticket prices and hotel room rates increased and visitors spent more on food, drinks and merchandise.
Total revenue rose 7 per cent to $12.46bn in the second quarter ended March 28. Walt Disney’s media networks business, which includes sports powerhouse ESPN, the Disney channels and ABC, reported a 13 per cent rise in revenue to $5.81bn. Higher programming and production costs at ESPN, however, pushed operating income down 2 per cent.
The company’s movie studio produced the animated super-hero hit Big Hero 6, but couldn’t keep pace with the year-ago quarter, which benefited from box-office phenomenon Frozen.
Revenue at the studio dropped 6 per cent to $1.69bn. The studio is expected to benefit from its newest blockbuster, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, in the current quarter. The sequel opened with $191.2m in ticket sales in the United States and Canada – the second-biggest of all time.
Walt Disney’s consumer products division, which contributed about 8 per cent to total revenue, reported a 10 per cent rise in sales.