Powered in part by the successful launch of its Disney+ streaming service, The Walt Disney Co. reported first-quarter revenues of $28.8 billion Tuesday, up 36% from the same quarter the prior year.
The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.53, down 17% from $1.53 a year ago.
“We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” Disney Chairman/CEO Robert Iger said in a statement. “Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment.”
Disney reported that as of Dec. 28 — the end of the first quarter — there were 26.5 million subscribers to the Disney+ streaming service that went online in November. Iger told reporters in a conference call that number has jumped to about 28.6 million as of the beginning of this week.
Due to the costs of launching the service, the company’s direct-to-consumer segment showed a major year-over-year jump in revenues, along with a substantial increase in operating loss.
The company reported a 24% jump in revenue from its media networks and an 8% revenue increase in its “parks, experiences and products” segment, thanks largely to increased guest spending and an increase in attendance. Disney noted that the segment saw increased costs thanks to new “guest offerings,” most notably the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Disneyland, along with wage increases for unionized employees.
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