Walt Disney World news

Earnings record for Disney's second quarter

Leah Zanolla | Posted: May 10, 2014 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Disney has set a quarterly earnings record for the second quarter, which ended March 29. Profit was up to $1.9 billion, up 27 percent from last year at $1.5 billion. Total sales were up 10 percent to $11.6 billion. The company has been pleased with the continued roll-out of the MyMagic+ system. The company's Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said, "We are pleased with some of the changes in guest behavior and park dynamics we are already seeing."

Attendance at the U.S. theme parks was up 3 percent, and per-guest spending was up even more, to 4 percent. According to the numbers, many of those guests are staying in hotels on Disney property, as occupancy rates went up to 86 percent. The theme parks in general have been doing well financially, seeing a 19 percent gain in operating profit, up to $457 million. Sales were up 8 percent to $3.6 billion. These numbers may have been even higher had Easter not been so late in the season this year.

Disney says that MyMagic+ has definitely played a key role in these numbers. The Orlando Sentinel writes, "One of the biggest benefits so far, the company said, was the rising number of visitors planning details of their trips in advance. Disney says its research shows that travelers who do more preplanning ultimately spend more time on its property - rather than visiting competing parks, shops and restaurants. In addition, Disney said it is more effectively spreading crowds inside its parks, allowing it to squeeze in 'thousands' of additional visitors during peak periods such as Christmas and Easter."

Bob Iger, Disney's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, spoke about competition with Universal Orlando. Universal has recently added several new venues to CityWalk, opened a new hotel and is anticipating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion this summer. Iger says that Disney isn't concerned. "What we've typically seen is it drives more traffic to the region. Basically, business goes up in Orlando or Central Florida, and we don't necessarily view it as a negative, because it drives more people to the area." Iger continued, "There'll be plenty more that we put into the marketplace that will take advantage of any growth the marketplace has."