The Walt Disney Co. has reported the largest quarterly earnings in its history, as the entertainment giant began harvesting profits from new theme-park investments and scored a global box-office hit with the superhero movie “The Avengers.”
Disney said it turned a profit of more than $1.8 billion during its fiscal third quarter, up 24 percent from the same period a year ago. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $11.1 billion for the period, which ended June 30.
“We had a phenomenal third quarter,” Disney President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said during a conference call with analysts.
Operating profit at Disney’s global theme-park division surged 21 percent to $630 million on sales that rose 9 percent to $3.4 billion. That growth was driven by the late March launch of the Disney Fantasy cruise ship; the mid-June opening of a “Cars”-themed attraction in Southern California; and a rebound at Tokyo Disney, which was forced to close for a time last year following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Iger said the addition generated record attendance at the two-park resort in Anaheim, Calif., and that the perennially weak California Adventure had become “the perfect neighbor” to the original Disneyland park, drawing nearly 50 percent of the resort’s total attendance up from as little as 25 percent in previous years.