The West

A box office blast from The Avengers and an enthusiastic response to the revamp of Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park helped The Walt Disney Company reap a better-than-expected third-quarter profit.

Disney’s movie studio was behind much of the earnings gain as studio profit surged to $US313 million ($A297.68 million) from $US49 million a year ago, backed by upbeat ticket sales to movies like The Avengers and Brave.

However, revenue missed expectations as studio revenue was roughly flat at $US1.63 billion, much less than the $US1.77 billion analysts expected. Smaller revenue from DVD and Blu-ray disc sales than a year ago was a key factor in the miss.

Chief executive Bob Iger said attendance at Disney California Adventure accounted for about half of the visits to its Anaheim, California parks, up from just a quarter previously.

The success comes on the heels of the June unveiling of a $US1 billion-plus overhaul that included the addition of an area based on the movie Cars.

Total revenue in the parks and resorts segment gained nine per cent to $US3.44 billion, benefiting from a full quarter of operations of its newest cruise ship, the Disney Fantasy, higher Disneyland attendance and higher ticket prices. Last year, parks results were hurt by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Net income for the three months ended June 30 rose 24 per cent to $US1.83 billion, or $US1.01 per share. That beat the 93 cents per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 4 per cent to $US11.09 billion, well short of the $US11.32 billion expected by analysts.
Disney took issue with the analysts’ expectations, which it said detracted from its highest quarterly earnings ever. The company does not issue formal earnings guidance.

"The so-called revenue miss is a miss of estimates by people who, in my opinion, don’t have the ability to see or estimate what our revenue was going to be, certainly accurately, or as accurately as we do,”
Mr Iger told an interviewer on Fox Business Network.

Mr Iger told analysts on a conference call that he expects the fortunes of Disney’s movie studio to get better.

The West Australian

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