The company had warned that the year-end quarter would be more complicated than usual, but the results may come as a mildly encouraging surprise. Disney reported net income of $1.38B, -5.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $11.34B, +5.2%. Revenues came in ahead of the expected $11.21B. Earnings at 79 cents a share not including one-time items beat forecasts for 76 cents. At the largest unit, Media Networks, revenues were up 7% to $5.1B with operating income +2% to $1.2B. Income at the cable networks fell slightly due to higher programming and production costs including ESPN‘s outlays for college football, NFL, and NBA games. But ABC helped out with higher ad sales, including political ads at the TV stations. The Studio Entertainment operation fared less well with revenues -5% to $1.5B and operating income -43% to $234M. Disney says that the theatrical and home video releases couldn’t match last year when Real Steel was going strong at overseas box offices and both Cars 2 and The Lion King 3D on the shelves. It also noted an expense of $321M set aside in light of losing final appeals in a breach of contract suit involving affiliates ABC, Buena Vista TV and Valleycrest Prods over Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
At Parks and Resorts higher ticket prices, hotel rates, and food spending offset increased costs for infrastructure improvement. Revenues increased 7% ti $3.4B with operating income +4% to $577M. Also Consumer Products’ revenue rose 7% to $1.0B with operating income of $346M, +11%. And the Interactive business was +4% in revenues to $291M with an operating income of $9M, up from a $28M loss.
“After delivering another record year of growth in 2012, we’re off to a solid start in Fiscal 2013,” CEO Bob Iger says. “Our ongoing success is driven by our long-term strategy, the strength of our brands and businesses, and our high quality family entertainment.”