DISNEY EARNINGS CONTINUE POOR PERFORMANCE

ABC, Theme Parks, Movies All Cited as Reasons for Decline

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Walt Disney Co. posted weak results of its third fiscal quarter, due to disapointing performance in its theme parks and films.

The corporate parent of the ABC, ESPN and ABC Family networks reported net income of $364 million, down 7% from $392 million a year ago, on revenues of $5.8 billion, down 2.8% from $6 billion last year. On a pro-forma basis -- factoring out accounting changes, the acquisition of ABC Family and the shutdown of its Go.com Internet unit -- Disney's revenue was down 6% and net income down 62%.

In a conference call,

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management said the numbers were due to weakness in its theme parks, which continue to be affected by fears of terrorism and by the economy, as well as by low ratings at its ABC network and low box office for recent film releases. Media network revenue was flat at $2.1 billion, from $2.2 billion in 2001, with broadcast network revenue down 16% and cable revenues up 1%.

Michael Eisner, Disney's chairman-CEO, said the company expects to improve results shortly, as the economy picks up and ABC unveils its new fall season.

He said ABC sold 85% of its inventory during the recent upfront market and added he expects most of those holds will be turned into firm orders on the strength of fall season's programming schedule.

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