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Theme-park rebound propels Disney profits

Orlando Sentinel

Original Article »

February 09, 2011

A rebound in its theme parks during the final three months of 2010 helped propel the Walt Disney Co. to 54 percent quarterly profit growth, the company announced Tuesday.

Disney said it made $1.3 billion for the three months that ended Jan. 1, the first quarter in the company’s fiscal year, up from $844 million a year earlier. Companywide revenue rose 10 percent to $10.7 billion.

The results easily topped Wall Street expectations.

“It’s a great start to a new fiscal year,” Disney Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said.

Disney’s theme-parks business, often viewed as a bellwether for the U.S. economy, turned in its strongest performance since being dragged down by the recession three years ago: The unit posted a 25 percent increase in operating profit — to $468 million — on sales growth of 8 percent — to $2.9 billion.

It was the first quarterly profit growth for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in two-and-a-half years.

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