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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 22:33 GMT
Disney's profits slump
The Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Theme parks attendance has fallen since 11 September
Walt Disney has reported a big fall in profits as it continues to suffer from the slowdown in advertising spending.

By any measure, these are challenging times for American business

Michael Eisner, Disney's chairman and chief executive
The company has also seen falling theme park attendances following the 11 September terrorist attacks.

Disney added that it reckoned earnings for the current quarter would be halved because of the current economic climate.

"By any measure, these are challenging times for American business," said Michael Eisner, Disney's chairman and chief executive.

"However, this environment and its impact on our operating results will not erode the enduring value of Disney's broad array of assets."

The media and entertainment giant reported earnings of $63m in the three months to the end of September, compared to $348m during the same period last year - a fall of 82%.

Theme parks suffer

Disney has seen the number of people visiting its theme parks fall since September's terrorist attacks.

World Disney World in Florida has suffered in particular as it is heavily dependent on tourism, and the slump in attendances is expected to continue.

"We expect attendance at Walt Disney World in the first quarter will be down 25 percent versus record setting attendance a year ago," said Disney chief financial officer Tom Staggs.

Disney has also seen advertising revenues fall at its ABC and ESPN television networks, as companies continue to cut back on promotional spending.

The company has already embarked on a range of cost-cutting measures. Earlier this year it announced it was to cut 4,000 jobs across its workforce.

"Throughout the current downturn we will continue to manage our company in a way that carefully balances the need for near-term cost-reduction with the equally compelling need to invest for future growth," Mr Eisner said in a statement.

The BBC's Duncan Bartlett
"Shares in the company have halved in value over the past 12 months."
See also:

04 Sep 01 | Business
Disney bets on Asia
02 Aug 01 | Business
Theme parks depress Disney profits
08 Jun 01 | Business
Disney in global push
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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