In a recent earnings call for The Walt Disney Company, CEO Bob Iger said this about growth of the company: “We’re very pleased with our results in Q2, especially in our Parks and Resorts and Studio businesses. Our parks continue to drive growth through operational excellence and by effectively leveraging our extraordinary content.”
With that said and parks continuously driving growth and opening new lands, there’s always going to be the lingering question of, “will there be more and when?” which is exactly what an analyst on the call asked Iger. When presented with this question, “As you move to more of a global OTT strategy, would you ever consider building parks in other parts of the world as kind of a brand beacon for just the overall interest in Disney’s products?” Iger didn’t miss a beat and came back with an answer that proves that The Walt Disney Company isn’t done growing.
“We think that there’s opportunity to expand in China, and there may also be opportunities in other parts of the world. We are constantly engaging in conversations with people from different markets who would love us to put Disneyland in their market.” He expands on his answer, detailing what they look for in a new home for another Disney park. Things like political and economic stability, spendable income, or potential infrastructure issues play a part in their decision to break ground elsewhere.
While he doesn’t promise that anything is going to happen any time soon, he does go on to say that where they’d look immediately is the continued growth of their newest park, Shanghai Disneyland. Although the opening of Toy Story Land in Shanghai is smaller than that of the one opening this summer in Orlando, Iger states the excitement he has for the opportunity of growth there. Due to bad weather this last quarter, Shanghai Disneyland saw lower attendance, but Iger hopes that with the new retail, attractions and dining experiences that Toy Story Land has brought, both attendance and revenue will revitalize the park.
While Shanghai Disneyland may have seemed lackluster in attendance, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland were credited for the growth of operating income, both seeing increases in attendance and room occupancy, as well as spending within the parks. Domestically, Iger confirmed that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland by the end of the 2019 calendar year.
An executive at The Walt Disney Company, Christine M. McCarthy, also revealed that the parks and resorts revenue increased by 13%, while operating income was up by 27% for the second fiscal quarter. With numbers like those, it’s difficult to imagine that the company would do anything but grow.
Thank you to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.