Disney suffers heavy quarterly losses, but sees subscriber numbers swell

Disney lost $ 4.7 billion in the past quarter, up from nearly $ 2 billion in net profit a year ago, due to the pandemic and especially closed theme parks and stopped cruises. But its streaming platforms, including Disney +, now have 100 million paying subscribers, gained in part through social distancing measures.

“This is a significant step that strengthens our strategy of direct services to consumers, which we consider to be key to the future growth of our company”, said Tuesday August 4 Bob Chapek, the boss of the American group.

Disney +, launched in November 2019 with new releases and an impressive catalog of films, series and TV programs, reached 57.5 million subscribers at the end of June.

Read also Disney + is now available in France, but with a much smaller and more recent catalog than in the United States

Charge of 3.5 billion for losses linked to the pandemic

The Disney title appreciated by more than 5% during electronic exchanges after the close of the Exchange, despite a turnover halved in one year, to 11.8 billion dollars, a result below market expectations .

Its earnings per share came out at – $ 2.61, but it is positive in an adjusted calculation, at 8 cents per share, factoring in a charge of $ 3.5 billion for losses from the pandemic. This charge corresponds to the negative impact on physical activities, such as theme parks, hotels and cruises.

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In other sectors, the loss of income is partly offset by the drop in production costs, as filming and travel are at a standstill.

Bob Chapek welcomed the success of the streaming platforms (Disney +, ESPN + and Hulu) and the reopening of certain parks, notably in Shanghai, Paris and Florida. He declared himself “As optimistic as possible” during the analyst conference call.

Read also Disney plays a hell of a trick on its entertainment workers

“Mulan” direct streaming

The group also decided on Tuesday to release the film. Mulan, highly anticipated blockbuster, streaming in September, without going through theaters, as tradition dictates. The release of the live-action version of the famous cartoon had already been postponed three times, with American cinemas remaining closed due to the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

Mulan will instead be available to Disney + platform subscribers from September 4, provided they pay an additional $ 29.99. This decision was qualified « d’unique » by Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

The film will still be released in theaters in some countries where the streaming service is not yet offered, such as China. Its production cost around $ 200 million.

The World with AFP

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