EURO DISNEY'S FRAGILE CONDITION

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PARIS-Despite the stock market shock that sent Euro Disney SCA shares plummeting last week, watchers of the financially troubled theme park say the jury is still out on whether recent marketing moves have been successful.

No decisions affecting Euro Disneyland's future will be made before the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, these observers said. A loss of $277 million is expected.

Euro Disney did not return phone calls.

Despite major financial restructuring lessening Euro Disney's debt load and revising the theme park's price and marketing strategy, it's clear Euro Disney's condition is still quite fragile.

Acting on a dire report by a Euro Disney specialist at French bank Paribas that valued the company's stock at a minuscule 30 cents per share, traders in Paris dumped Euro Disney stock so fast Aug. 30 that it plummeted by 18% to $1.39. By week's end, however, following a Euro Disney's public relations campaign directed at journalists and analysts, the stock largely regained all it had lost, closing at $1.68 per share.

Earlier this year, Euro Disney reversed policy by working up extensive travel packages and reduced entry rate schemes to attract more visitors. It also attempted to increase spending in the park by slashing food and merchandise prices 15% to 20%, and cutting hotel rates about 13%.

However, more drastic measures, such as closing the park part of the year, a common practice among other European theme parks, were rejected.

At the same time, advertising handled by Ogilvy & Mather dropped flashy, grandiose images of the park in exchange for campaigns featuring the characters that have made Disney famous. It's not known how those efforts have affected attendance.

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