Strong sales within its TV and Studio divisions has led The Walt Disney Company to post Q3 results that have exceeded analysts’ expectations, with profits growing 40% to US$1.33 billion for the quarter.
Overall sales for the period ended July 3, 2010 rose 16% to US$10 billion.
Operating income at Cable Networks increased US$561 million to US$1.7 billion for the quarter due to a spike in sales at ESPN, and, to a degree Disney Channel worldwide, driven by contractual rate increases and subscriber growth, as well as increased ad revenue.
Studio Entertainment revenues for the quarter increased 30% to US$1.6 billion and operating income increased by US$135 million to US$123 million, driven primarily by the global success of titles such as Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man 2.
Interestingly, the Interactive Media segment witnessed a 74% spike in revenues versus a year ago, generating US$197 million for the quarter, while revenues within Disney’s Consumer Products division rose to US$606 million, a 19% increase from last year’s postings. Lower costs at The Disney Store North America and an increase in sales of Marvel-based book titles helped propel these numbers. On the merchandising side, higher licensing revenues were driven by the strength of Toy Story. Sales of Marvel merchandise were offset by a higher revenue share with the Studio Entertainment segment. The increased revenues within the Studio Entertainment division are also attributable to Toy Story merchandise.
The Parks and Resorts unit, however, did not share the same positive results. Within this division, revenues for the quarter only increased 3% to US$2.8 billion, while operating income dropped 8% to US$477 million as attendance fell at domestic theme parks and at the Disney Cruise Line.