Net income for the quarter increased to $1.9 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier, lifted by growth at its movie studio.
The movie Frozen continued to propel the studio, which saw its operating income quadruple to $475 million from $118 million a year earlier, partially on the strength of sales on home video. To further cash in on the film’s popularity, Disney will increase the presence of Frozen characters at theme parks and could to use them in its publishing and interactive gaming businesses, Chief Executive Bob Iger said on a conference call.
“The passion for this film and these characters is so extraordinary, so well beyond what we’ve ever imagined, that it would be hard to believe that it wouldn’t sustain itself over a fairly long period of time,” Iger said.
The film had worldwide ticket sales of $1.2 billion, including $400.3 million during its five-month run in US and Canadian cinemas.
Operating earnings at its TV operations, its largest unit, increased by 15 per cent despite lower ratings at its ABC broadcast network.
The company’s sports giant ESPN helped boost cable operating income by 15 per cent, largely through higher affiliate fees from pay-TV providers.