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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 21:29 GMT 22:29 UK
Disney profits dip
Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney is blaming a fall in quarterly profits on the war in Iraq and continuing weakness in the economy.

The US media giant blamed the cost of war coverage at its ABC television network and fewer visitors to its theme parks.

Disney's film division provided a bright spot, however, turning in a solid quarter.

Sars fear

The studio's operating profits were up nearly eight times on the same quarter last year.

The improvement was driven by sales of video and DVD titles like "Signs" and solid box office success for Oscar-winner "Chicago" and comedy "Bringing Down the House."

But studio's results could not overcome a fall in attendances and hotel occupancy at Walt Disney World resort in Florida and Disneyland in southern California.

Chairman Michael Eisner said: "The military conflict in Iraq and fear of terrorism have clearly had a near-term impact on a number of our businesses."

Disney posted a second-quarter net profit of $229m, or 11 cents per share, in the three months to the end of March, slightly less than the same quarter last year.

The media giant has warned theme park attendances could be harmed by the impact of the Sars virus.

Disney's main parks are Florida's Disney World and Disneyland in California, and there are also parks in Paris and Tokyo, with one in Hong Kong under construction.

Disney hit by Sars risk
13 Apr 03  |  Business

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