Net Income Climbs 16% at Walt Disney Productions

Walt Disney Productions reported a 16% increase in net income to $52.6 million for the three months ended June 30, up from $45.44 million a year ago, when the company had a greater number of shares outstanding.

Revenue rose 13% to $546.91 million for the third quarter and increased 19% to $1.42 billion for the first nine months of the fiscal year.

Net income for the nine months increased 40% to $119.72 million, compared to $85.74 million a year ago, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change.

In a prepared statement, top Disney officials attributed the company's improved performance during the nine-month period in part to a "significant improvement" in theme park operations and the first-time profitability of the Disney Channel, a pay-TV service launched in 1983.

Revenue from theatrical film rentals decreased 43% to $15.57 million in the third quarter from $27.32 million a year ago.

Disney Vice President Erwin Okun said last year's results were buoyed by the box-office success of "Splash." For the nine-month period, theatrical film rentals decreased 29% from $85.23 million last year.

Operating income for the community development segment, which includes the Florida-based Arvida real estate subsidiary, dropped to $12.73 million from $17.78 million in the third quarter last year. Okun attributed the decline to the "timing of transactions," but he declined to cite examples.

He attributed a 13% drop in profits for the consumer products segment largely to the strength of the U.S. dollar overseas.

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