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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Disney Sees 1st Profit at Euro Park

PARIS -- Euro Disney on Tuesday announced its first profit since opening three years ago after packing its theme park near Paris with crowd-pullers like the Space Mountain thrill ride.


The company said net profit for the quarter ending June 30 was 170 million francs ($35.4 million), including an extraordinary gain of 84 million francs.


The park lost 546 million francs in the year-earlier third quarter when fears that it might close down because of its financial woes reduced the number of visitors.


Euro Disney said the improvement reflected growth in revenue and operating margins as well as the debt-interest holiday and other benefits from a financial restructuring last August.


"Given these results we have a chance of breaking even in 1995," a spokesman said. But he said the company still officially aims to break even in the 1995 to 1996 fiscal year.


Trade in Euro Disney shares was so heavy Tuesday morning that it contributed to a technical overload on the Paris bourse, resulting in a brief shutdown in market trading activity.


The stock roared up 9 percent or 1.60 francs to 17.70.


Analysts said the results suggested a year-on-year rise in attendance of about 30 percent and deep cost cuts.


"It's further evidence that Euro Disney is a commercially viable concept -- that there's nothing wrong with having put a Disney park in the Paris region," said David Klein at broker Natwest Sellier.


He and many other analysts crossed out their previous loss estimates and now predict a profit of around 50 million francs at Euro Disney for the 1994 to 1995 year.


The company, which slashed admission prices more than 20 percent in April, said higher attendance helped boost operating revenues for the Disneyland Paris park and hotels by 17 percent to 1.362 billion francs in the third quarter.


"Our new marketing strategy, a significant reduction in park prices and the opening of our latest attraction 'Space Mountain: From space to the moon' have been very successful," chairman Philippe Bourguignon said.