Wednesday, May 10, 2006


TV, Parks, Timeshares Lift Disney Profit To 12% Gain

The success of ABC-TV shows such as Desperate Housewives and the unexpected hit High School Musical on the Disney Channel helped hike Walt Disney Co. profit by 12 percent during the first three months of 2006.

Disney's theme parks helped too -- despite troubled performances in Paris and Hong Kong -- according to the second-quarter financial report Disney filed Tuesday.

Also, the Disney Vacation Club timeshare business has seen what Staggs called "incredible growth" and has sold its 2,000th unit.

And Staggs said Disney expects no drop-off in attendance due to high gas prices.

Staggs and Iger both blamed the drop in movie profit -- down 39 percent compared with the second quarter of 2005 -- on the fact that Disney had ridden high in 2005 on the strong video and DVD sales of The Incredibles. This year, during the second quarter, Disney had nothing comparable on the video shelves or in the theaters, they said.

Disney closed its deal to buy Pixar Animation, its former operating partner, only last week and Iger said that should strengthen Disney's animation production and creativity, starting with Pixar's next film -- now Disney's next film -- Cars. The movie, which Iger said has a level of animation "unlike anything audiences have experienced," has the potential for the cross-division promotions that Disney relies on: theme park rides, shows, merchandise, TV spinoffs and sequels.

"This film has tremendous potential to become a classic franchise for our company over the long term," Iger said.

Movies and timeshare real estate keep Disney on the move.

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