Disney's net income rises 30% in fourth quarter

Walt Disney Co. reported improved fourth-quarter earnings, buoyed by gains at Disney Channel and ESPN and at the Burbank company's theme parks.

The entertainment giant reported net income of $1.08 billion for the quarter ending Oct. 1, a jump of 30% compared with a year earlier. Revenue also rose 7% to $10.4 billion. 

Disney's media networks group, which includes the ABC television network and cable channels, continues to be a profit engine for Disney. Media networks posted operating income of $1.4 billion, a gain of 20% from a year earlier.

The results were driven by sales of Disney Channel programming and higher fees paid by cable and satellite distributors, as well as international advertising growth. ESPN also benefited from fee increases and ad growth.

Disney's parks and resorts saw a 33% surge in operating income, which rose to $421 million for the quarter. The improved results at the company's domestic parks, Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris were partially offset by costs associated with opening the new Aulani hotel and vacation resort.

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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times

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