Disney tops earnings estimates ahead of streaming launch

Disney tops earnings estimates ahead of streaming launch

The Walt Disney Company
A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO: Walt Disney Co. on Thursday (Nov 7) reported better-than-expected quarterly results, fuelled by the release of blockbuster films "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" as it prepared for its new streaming television service.

Disney profit in the recently ended quarter was US$1.05 billion, down from US$2.3 billion a year ago, on revenue that grew 34 per cent to US$19.1 billion.

The slump in profits came as Disney absorbed key film and television operations of 21st Century Fox and geared up for its launch of the streaming service Disney+ that aims to compete globally against Netflix and others.

"We've spent the last few years completely transforming The Walt Disney Company to focus the resources and immense creativity across the entire company on delivering an extraordinary direct-to-consumer experience," said Disney chief executive Robert Iger.

"We're excited for the launch of Disney+ on November 12."

Iger said the company reached a deal for the service to be on Amazon's Fire TV platform, the latest distribution agreement for Disney+.

Revenues in the past quarter were boosted by a 52 per cent rise in Disney's studio operations with box office hits "The Lion King," "Toy Story 4" and "Aladdin" fueling gains.

Disney has become the biggest Hollywood player with the acquisition of studio and TV assets from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

The company saw smaller revenue gains in its cable and broadcasting operations as well as its theme park division.

Source: AFP/de