The Walt Disney Company has reported its earnings for its first fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 28, 2019.
“We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” says Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, Disney. “Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment.”
Media networks revenue for the quarter increased 24 percent to $7.4 billion, with segment operating income increasing 23 percent to $1.6 billion.
“Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a certain child in ‘The Mandalorian’ who has taken the world by storm,” says Iger. “I do believe the sensational response to this new character says so much about Disney+ and our company's ability to connect with audiences. We know there is great anticipation for the substantial array of Baby Yoda consumer products hitting the market in the coming months. Interesting, the Disney brand globally has never been more popular. The other thing I wanted to say is that the brand studies that we've seen or brand research that we've seen in the United States suggests that interest in affinity in the Disney brand has actually risen nicely thanks to Disney+ particularly among young people. I think a lot of that has to do with the relevance of the platform, the technology, the manner of presentation.”
At parks, experiences and products, operating income was up nine percent in the quarter driven by higher results at consumer products.
“Consumer products operating income was up 25 percent due to growth in merchandise licensing as a result of strong revenue growth from sales of ‘Frozen’ and ‘Star Wars’ merchandise, both of which benefited from theatrical releases in the quarter,” says Christine M. McCarthy, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, Disney.