November 8, 2023, 3:19 PM ·

The Walt Disney Company’s Experiences segment, which includes its theme parks, today reported a double-digit percentage growth in revenue and operating income for the past quarter and fiscal year.

Operating income rose 31% year over year for the three month period ending September 30, to $1.759 billion, driven by strong growth at the international parks, the Disney Cruise Line, and the Disneyland Resort. Missing from the picture is the Walt Disney World Resort, where Disney said that “we continue to manage against wage inflation and challenging comparisons to the prior year from the 50th anniversary celebration.”Disney also reported higher costs in Florida due to accelerated depreciation related to the closure of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and inflation.Nevertheless, Disney reported higher attendance at Disneyland in California as well as at Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, when compared to 2022. The company also reported higher passenger volume at the Disney Cruise Line as well as increased Disney Vacation Club sales, driven by the opening of The Villas at Disneyland Hotel.Revenue for the Experiences segment was up 13% for the quarter, to $8.16 billion, and up 16% for the fiscal year ending September 30, to $32.549 billion.”Even in the case of Walt Disney World, where we have a tough comparison to the prior year, when you look at this year’s numbers compared to pre-pandemic levels in fiscal ’19, we’ve seen growth in revenue and operating income of over 25% and 30%, respectively, over the last five years,” CEO Bob Iger said. “Return on invested capital is nearly doubled in our domestic parks, and we have seen sizable increases over that same timeframe across the total Experiences portfolio as well – not to mention the improved guest experience ratings we’re now seeing at every one of our parks.”

“Looking towards fiscal 2024, we anticipate robust annual operating income growth in Experiences, to reflect continued strong performance at our international parks and Disney Cruise Line,” Interim CFO Kevin Lansberry said. “While domestic parks and experiences is expecting solid growth in the new fiscal year, that growth will be heavily back-end loaded due to continued challenging comparisons in the first half of the year from the 50th anniversary at Walt Disney World in addition to wage inflation.”We continue to be bullish on the long-term positioning of our Experiences business, as evidenced by a recent announcement on significant investments we plan to make over the next 10 years to turbocharge growth in this area. We expect those investments to ramp up towards the back half of that 10-year period, with more gradual increases in the first few years.”* * *
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