Theme parks and toys mean Disney earnings very definitely aren't Frozen

Emma Haslett
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Olaf and friends have helped push Disney up in recent quarters - but can the sequel do the same? (Source: Disney)

The figures

Enthusiasm for Elsa, Anna, Olaf and friends hasn't thawed, it turns out: Disney's net profits rose to $2.1bn in the three months to the end of March - that's 10 per cent higher than last year. Meanwhile, revenues rose seven per cent to $12.4bn.

Those kids' imploring faces on its ads have clearly had an impact: revenues in its parks and resorts segment rose six per cent to $3.8bn, while its media networks - which include ESPN and ABC - jumped 13 per cent to $5.8bn. Consumer products - aka toys - rose 10 per cent to $971m. Not bad, considering kids seem to prefer the boxes - but Disney said that was largely thanks to the "performance of merchandise based on Frozen, and, to a lesser extent, The Avengers".

The news caused shares to jump 1.1 per cent on the open in New York, to $112.

Why it's interesting

Before Frozen came along, it had been a few years since Disney had had a bonafide kids' blockbuster seen as being on a level with the likes of Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, Aladdin, etc.

But then Frozen-mania happened, and the entertainer has been cashing in ever since. Although in the absence of a similarly smash-hit blockbuster, this quarter it had to rely more heavily on earnings from its theme parks - which were helped along by pricier tickets.

Sadly, its studio entertainment arm didn't fare quite so well, with revenues falling six per cent to $1.7bn. Oh well - with Frozen 2 on the way, that's probably not too much of a worry.

What Disney said

Robert Iger, Disney's chairman and chief executive, pointed to the "incredible ability of our strong brands and quality content to drive results".

The power of this winning combination is once again reflected in the phenomenal worldwide success of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has opened at number one in every market so far.

In short

The media giant hasn't had a Frozen-style hit this quarter - but pricier theme park tickets and continued enthusiasm for princesses have kept it ticking over.

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