Powered in large part by surging theme park business, the Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. reported an 8% jump in revenue Wednesday during the first quarter of the fiscal year, compared to the same quarter a year ago.
The company reported revenue of $23.5 billion and diluted earnings per share of 99 cents for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. The figure included a 21% revenue jump for the company’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment.
Wednesday’s earnings report was the first released by the company since the November ouster of CEO Bob Chapek and the return of Bob Iger to the top executive post.
“After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises,” Iger said in a statement Wednesday.
“We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders.”
Notable in the report was a drop in overall subscription numbers for the Disney+ streaming service between October and December, the first such loss since the service began in 2020. Subscription numbers in the United States and Canada rose slightly to 46.6 million, as did international subscriptions at 57.7 million. The quarterly drop in subscriptions was entirely confined to the Disney+ Hotstar service, which is offered in India and southeast Asia.
Overall, the Disney+ service still has 161.8 million subscribers, according to the company, down from 164.2 million on Oct. 1.
The company reported a 2% increase in subscribers to the ESPN+ streaming service, with 24.9 million subscribers, and a 2% jump in Hulu subscriptions, reaching 48 million.
While revenue from the company’s direct-to-consumer services jumped 13% to reach $5.3 billion, their operating loss climbed by another $500 million, reaching $1.1 billion.
“The increase in operating loss was due to a higher loss at Disney+ and a decrease in results at Hulu, partially offset by improved results at ESPN+,” according to the company.
Disney cited higher programming, production and technology costs at Disney+.
Disney introduced an ad-supported tier of Disney+ on Dec. 8, costing subscribers the original rate of $7.99 per month. The ad-free version costs $10.99 per month.