Disney suffers £1.1bn hit due to coronavirus

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The Walt Disney Co has confirmed that they have suffered a £1.1bn hit to profits in the first three months of the year.

The entertainment giant has been forced to close its parks, had movie releases cancelled and had to furlough 100,000 of its employees across the world.

The world’s largest media company said its operating income for the three months ending 28 March had fallen 37% to $1.94bn.

Disney last year launched a new streaming service, Disney+, which has so far attracted just over 55 million subscribers – however, it has yet to make a profit. The service actually posted a loss of £656mm in the quarter.

The firm has announced that plans to protect its finances by reducing capital investment plans by £730m and suspending dividend payments until next year.

Quarterly revenues were up 21% year-on-year at £14.5bn, however, profits fell to £370m from £4.4bn in the prior year – a 91% drop.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has had an appreciable financial impact on a number of our businesses, we are confident in our ability to withstand this disruption and emerge from it in a strong position,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

“Disney has repeatedly shown that it is exceptionally resilient, bolstered by the quality of our storytelling and the strong affinity consumers have for our brands, which is evident in the extraordinary response to Disney+ since its launch last November.”

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