Disney’s Profit Soars, but Focus Remains on Its Coming Streaming Service

Disney’s Profit Soars, but Focus Remains on Its Coming Streaming Service


There were also areas of weakness in the quarter that just ended. Disney Consumer Products reported another drop in operating income — its fifth quarterly decline in a row — because of write-downs related to the Disney Store chain and worsening licensing results for the “Cars” franchise. Disney also disclosed that it had written off about 40 percent of its investment in the moribund Vice Media, or $157 million.

And Disney turned to discounting to prop up attendance at Shanghai Disney Resort. “We saw some softness in the tourism market in China,” Mr. Iger said. “Not just for us, but across the board.” He added that much of the discounting had ended. “We still believe very, very, very bullishly” in the resort, he said.

Over all, however, it was a strong quarter for Disney, with each of its biggest divisions — movies, theme parks and television — contributing in a significant way to results, a contrast to a year ago, when movies and television sputtered.

Movie operating income more than doubled, to $596 million, because of fewer film-related write-offs and scorching ticket sales for “Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Disney’s theme parks had operating income of $829 million, an 11 percent increase, because of growth at Walt Disney World in Florida, which suffered from Hurricane Irma in 2017.

And quarterly profit at Disney’s vast television business, which includes ESPN, ABC, Disney Channel and the Freeform network, climbed 9 percent, to $5.96 billion.

Results at ESPN were flat; higher subscription fees were offset by a decline in advertising. Lower costs helped Disney Channels Worldwide and Freeform deliver improved results. ABC benefited from sales of reruns for the sitcom “black-ish,” but continued to suffer from declining ratings: Increases in political ad revenue were offset by “lower network impressions.”

Disney shares climbed about 1.7 percent in aftermarket trading, to $118.



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