First Quarter revenues are up 8% in the results published this morning by Euro Disney SCA, the operating group of Disneyland Paris, but show a struggle to recover from the dent taken during the worst days of the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. Though the 8% rise to €316.8 million in total Theme Park, Disney Village, Hotel and Resort revenues represents a boost in revenues of €24.8 million, it still fails to fully reverse the huge 10.5% drop the resort saw in First Quarter 2010, when revenues in the period fell from €326.4 million in financial year 2009 to €292 million in 2010. Whilst theme park attendance dropped 11% year-on-year in 2010, it has only grown back by a disappointing 1% in today’s results, which the resort claims stems from an increase in visitors from France and Belgium — offset by fewer visitors from the Netherlands and, yet again, the United Kingdom. This comes despite the opening of three expensive new attractions in Toy Story Playland just before the quarter.
Nevertheless, hotel occupancy rose a strong 5.6 percentage points, suggesting that the resort segment of the business has fared better in the harsh weather conditions seen over the three months from 1st October to 31st December 2010, which analysts expected to curb Disneyland Paris from making bigger gains. Philippe Gas, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney S.A.S. commented: “Following the improvement we saw at the end of last year, we are encouraged that our First Quarter guest visitation and spending continued to improve over the prior year. Total first quarter revenues were up 8% versus last year, which is particularly significant given the extensive travel disruptions experienced throughout Europe during the holiday season. We look forward to launching the Disney Magical Moments Festival this spring, where we will celebrate the role of Disney magic in creating lasting memories for families and friends at the Resort.”
After announcing a net profit of €2 million in 2008, its first since the opening of Walt Disney Studios Park in 2002, at the height of the boom and after a hugely successful 15th Anniversary campaign, Euro Disney SCA was almost immediately plunged back into debt. It still currently has around €1.8 billion in loans to pay dating back to the construction of the resort, when Disney wildly overestimated guest spending levels and the number of hotel rooms required in the first phase.