Frozen helps drive Disney profits up 27%
Buoyed by the strength of its phenomenally successful Frozen movie franchise, Disney’s second quarter net profit for 2014 rose 27% to US$1.9 billion, while revenues went up 10%, and every business segment within the company reported double-digit increases in earnings.
As the highest-grossing animated film in history with US$770 million in global revenue, Frozen helped boost revenue for Disney’s Studio Entertainment group by 35% to US$1.8 billion.
The group’s operating income also jumped to US$475 million from US$118 million due to increases in domestic home entertainment led by higher unit sales for Frozen and Thor: The Dark World, and distribution results from global theatrical and television/SVOD.
For its Cable Networks group, operating income rose US$250 million to US$2.0 billion helped by improvements at the domestic Disney Channels and ESPN.
On the consumer products front, the segment’s revenues went up 16% to US$885 million with operating income increasing 37% to US$274 million, due to higher results within merchandise licensing led by the strong performance of Disney Channel, Mickey and Minnie and Planes merch, and retail businesses due to comparable store sales growth in Japan and North America, a new North American wholesale distribution business and higher online sales in North America.
(Frozen’s licensing power appears to also be unbreakable, with goods helping to drive a significant sales boost for California-based toyco Jakks Pacific during its own last quarter.)
Disney’s Interactive group, despite cutting 700 jobs in March, saw sales increase 38% to US$268 million thanks largely to the success of Disney Infinity and the growth of the company’s mobile business in Japan. The company is carrying its interactive momentum forward with the newly launched Star Wars Journeys episodic series of apps from Disney Publishing Worldwide.