Euro Disney reports widening loss

11th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Theme park operator Euro Disney on Tuesday reported a 32.4 percent deepening in its first half net earnings loss that it blamed on falling attendance, notably by British visitors.

The group said profit in the first half of its 2009-2010 fiscal year, which ended March 31, came to 95.2 million euros (121 million dollars) from sales that were down 7.0 percent from the same period a year earlier at 519 million euros.

Euro Disney's loss came to 71.9 million euros in the first half of 2008-2009.

The group said attendance at its complex near Paris fell 8.4 percent to 6.5 million visitors, reflecting fewer visitors from Britain and the Netherlands in particular.

The bottom line also suffered from lingering effects of the economic crisis.

"If they (visitors) come during school vacations, they no longer come for long weekends during off-peak periods," said Euro Disney chief executive Philippe Gas.

Hotel occupancy fell to 79.6 percent from 85.8 percent in the year earlier period, reflecting a drop-off in British visitors for the most part, along with a decline in corporate-related tourist activities, Gas said.

But the company said that average visitor spending had risen slightly to 43.51 euros from 43.01.

Gas declined to forecast Euro Dinsey's performance this year because "there are still many economic uncertainties."

But he noted that "with the exception of Britain, the trend on all markets, especially France, Spain and Italy, improved in the second quarter."

© 2010 AFP

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