Theme parks at Disney made $2.45 billion in operating income, compared to a loss the previous year. In addition, the number of subscribers to Disney+, the company’s streaming service, surpassed analysts’ expectations, with 129.8 million vs 125.8 million projected. During the pandemic, park revenue more than doubled.
The Walt Disney Company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, stated that the company had a very strong start to the fiscal year, with a significant increase in earnings per share, record revenue and operating income at our domestic parks and resorts, the launch of a new franchise with Encanto, and a significant increase in total subscriptions across our streaming portfolio to 196.4 million, including 11.8 million Disney+ subscribers added in the first quarter.
Disney stock was up 7% in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
Including ESPN+ and Hulu, Disney hit a total of 196.4 million subscribers.
Hulu is majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company, with Comcast’s NBCUniversal holding a minority stake and owned by ESPN Inc., ESPN IS owned jointly by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%).
While Disney’s streaming subscription business continues to grow at a rapid clip, it is still losing money. Streaming revenue surged 34% to $4.7 billion in the first quarter, but operating losses deepened 27% to $600 million.
Chapek said the streaming business is always hungry for more content, and that the company will increase its content spending over time
Meanwhile, Encanto has been hugely successful, especially its songs We Don’t Talk About Bruno making it to number one in the UK top 40 – the first original Disney song to do so
Chapek believes the streaming service will have 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024.
Disney also has 30 major movies coming out in 2022 including Doctor Strange 2, Avatar 2, Enchanted, and Thor 4.