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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 21:56 GMT 22:56 UK
Disney in global push
The Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
The company wants to push into new markets
The Walt Disney Company is on the prowl outside the US, searching for acquisition targets and new markets in an effort to boost its non-US earnings.


We're interested in companies in content and we're starting to broaden our look potentially toward distribution companies.

Michael Johnson
Walt Disney
"I'd like to see much more balanced international revenues," the company's international president Michael Johnson said, stressing that the upside was greater outside than inside the mature US market.

Disney, the world's second-largest media and entertainment conglomerate after AOL Time Warner, aims to boost the proportion of its international revenue to above 30% in the next five years, from the current 18%.

The company will focus on emerging markets in particular. It will look to boost its business in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

"We're interested in companies in content and we're starting to broaden our look potentially toward distribution companies," Johnson said.

"We believe, obviously, that content is king, though."

Tightening belts

But it is not all spend, spend, spend for Mickey Mouse and his friends.

The company recently cut 4,000 job due to the weak economy. And it still aims to hammer out a plan to cut costs by $15-20m a year.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Let's go see the world!
Disney owns film studios, the ABC and ESPN television networks, as well as theme parks around the world.

Disney's number one non-US market is Japan where Mr Johnson expects double-digit growth to continue despite economic weakness in the country.

About 60% of the company's non-US earnings come from Europe, with 35% coming from Asia and 5% from Latin America.

Disney's share fell just under 1% on Friday. The company is valued at about $67bn.

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See also:

08 Jun 01 | Americas
Clean underwear for Disney workers
28 Mar 01 | Business
Disney to axe 4,000 jobs
19 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Disney settles Fantasia claim
05 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Disney and Sony lead worldwide takings
31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Silent star heir sues Disney
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