A drooping movie studio pulled down profits at the Walt Disney Co. during the final three months of 2012, but business at the company's theme parks continued to grow.
Disney said Tuesday that it earned approximately $1.4 billion in the three-month period ending Dec. 29, which was the first quarter of the company's fiscal year. That was down 6 percent from a year ago, when Disney made nearly $1.5 billion.
Total sales rose 5 percent for the quarter to $11.3 billion.
In a prepared statement, Disney Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger called it a "solid start" to the company's new financial year.
Sales and profits grew across Disney's vacation businesses, as it charged higher prices for theme-park tickets and hotel-room rentals during the Christmas holidays and carried more passengers on an expanded cruise fleet.
Operating profit at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts rose 4 percent for the quarter, from $553 million a year ago to $577 million. Revenue jumped 7 percent, from less than $3.2 billion to almost $3.4 billion.
Disney credited much of the improved profit to greater guest-spending at Walt Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., as well as increased attendance at Disneyland, which recently opened a new Cars-themed land, and a more hotel-room nights at Disney World, which recently opened the roughly 2,000-room Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
Disney also cited the addition of the 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy cruise ship, which launched a little less than a year ago and expanded the company's fleet to four ships.
The gains were partially offset by continued spending on the $1 billion "MyMagic+" vacation-planning system at Disney World and discounted cruise pricing to fill the Disney Magic cruise ship, which was moved to Galveston, Texas, in 2012..
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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