Direct-to-consumer and theme parks powered gains at The Walt Disney Company in Q4, with revenues rising 5 percent to $21.2 billion.
“Our results this quarter reflect the significant progress we’ve made over the past year,” said Robert A. Iger, CEO. “While we still have work to do, these efforts have allowed us to move beyond this period of fixing and begin building our businesses again. We have a solid foundation of creative excellence and innovation built over the past century, which has only been reinforced by the important restructuring and cost-efficiency work we’ve done this year, and we’re on track to achieve roughly $7.5 billion in cost reductions. Combined with our portfolio of valuable businesses, brands and assets—and the way we manage them together—Disney has a strong hand that differentiates us from others in our industry.”
Iger continued: “As we look forward, there are four key building opportunities that will be central to our success: achieving significant and sustained profitability in our streaming business, building ESPN into the preeminent digital sports platform, improving the output and economics of our film studios and turbocharging growth in our parks and experiences business. We have already made considerable advancements in these four areas and will continue to move forward with a sense of purpose and urgency, and I’m bullish about the opportunities we have before us to create lasting growth and increase shareholder value.”
At Disney Entertainment, revenues were up 2 percent to $9.5 billion, with the segment emerging from last year’s operating loss of $608 million to post a profit of $236 million. Revenues from the linear networks were down 9 percent to $2.6 billion, with reductions in both advertising and affiliate revenues. Direct-to-consumer revenues, meanwhile, were up 12 percent to $5 billion, with a reduction in operating loss from $1.4 billion to $420 million. As of the end of Q4, the company reported 46.5 million Disney+ subs in the U.S., a 1 percent gain, and 66.1 million internationally, an 11 percent increase, for a total of 112.6 million, a 7 percent increase. Disney+ Hotstar subs fell 7 percent to 37.6 million. Hulu’s SVOD-only tier was fairly stable at 43.9 million, with live TV and SVOD rising to 4.6 million. Content sales and licensing revenues slipped by 3 percent to $1.86 billion, with the business reporting a wider operating loss of $149 million.
The sports segment at Disney saw its revenues stay flat in the quarter at $3.9 billion, with a 1-percent gain in the U.S. to $3.46 billion and a 2 percent international increase to $363 million, while Star in India reported lower revenues of $92 million, a 21 percent decline.
The experiences segment saw revenues rise 13 percent to $8.16 billion, with a 7 percent increase at the U.S. theme parks to $5.38 billion and a 55-percent surge internationally to $1.66 billion, while consumer product revenues fell by 5 percent to $1.1 billion.
Net income attributable to Disney rose to $264 million in the quarter.