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Euro Disney's New Attraction Contributes to Sales Increase

January 23, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Euro Disney, Europe's largest theme-park company, said Wednesday that sales rose 16% in its fiscal first quarter as its new movie-studio amusement center attracted more visitors.

Sales climbed to $281 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, from $242 million a year earlier, said spokesman Pieter Boterman. Euro Disney shares rose 8.5% on the Paris stock exchange.

Chief Executive Jay Rasulo spent more than $642 million to build the new park, called Walt Disney Studios, in a bid to get guests to stay longer and spend more. Attendance was less than expected in the six months after its opening in March and then increased in the third quarter.

But concerns about rising royalty payments to parent Walt Disney Co. and higher operating costs related to the new park may make it difficult for Euro Disney to show a profit this year, analysts said.

Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. owns 39% of Euro Disney and controls it under the terms of the company's share structure.

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