Expatica news

Euro Disney sees end to big dipper

PARIS, Jan 22 (AFP) – The Euro Disney theme park complex near Paris, emerging from financial crisis last year, said that visitor sales had risen slightly in the first quarter of its financial year and signalled a new European advertising campaign.

Sales in the October-December quarter had risen by 1.0 percent from the equivalent figure in 2002 after two quarters of sharp falls, to a record for the period of EUR 264.1 million (USD 335.3 million), compared with EUR 262.2 million a year earlier.

Business had been firm during the autumn Halloween and year-end holidays.

Euro Disney, the operating company of Disneyland Resort Paris, hit severe financial problems last year, warning that for the first time since financial problems in 1994, it would not be able to meet some debt payments due in 2003 and 2004. This was largely because visitor numbers had fallen far short of forecasts.

In November the group announced that it had arranged a restructuring of its finances with creditors, delaying some debt payments until March 31, 2004.

The company said on Thursday that it continued to negotiate with various interested parties, but noted that in the January-March second quarter the park expected to benefit from a new Lion King Carnival and a new Europe-wide advertising campaign.

The slight rise in first-quarter sales reflected an increase of average spending per visitor in the theme parks and hotels on the site east of Paris.

Sales had fallen by 7.0 percent in the third quarter and by 11.0 percent in the fourth quarter.

“I am pleased with our first-quarter revenue performance, especially after the downward trend in our revenue performance during the second half of fiscal 2003 (minus 7.0 percent in the third quarter and minus 11.0 percent in thefourth quarter) due to various factors negatively impacting the travel and tourism industry,” chairman and chief executive Andre Lacroix said in a statement.

Lacroix said the sales rise reflected new product developments and improved Halloween and Christmas attractions, he said.

Lacroix said that he was convinced that the two main planks of the group’s strategy – new products and innovative marketing – would help the business to develop.


                                Subject: France news