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HK Disneyland reports narrower net loss in 2011

(Shanghai Daily)

14:56, January 11, 2012

HONG Kong's Disneyland theme park inched closer to profitability last year as higher visitor numbers and hotel occupancy rates narrowed losses.

The theme park reported a net loss yesterday of HK$237 million (US$30.5 million), down by two-thirds from a HK$718 million loss in 2010. Revenue rose 20 percent to HK$3.6 billion

Some 5.9 million people visited the park last year, 13 percent over the year before, with each guest spending 6 percent more on average. Hotel occupancy rose to 91 percent, 9 percentage points higher than in 2010.

Disney executives said that an expansion area that opened in November based on the "Toy Story" series of movies helped boost attendance. The second phase of the US$465 million expansion, "Grizzly Gulch," is set to open this year while the final phase, "Mystic Mountain," will open in 2013.

Set on 126 hectares of reclaimed land on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest of Burbank, California-based Disney's five theme parks worldwide. The Hong Kong government owns a 53 percent stake in the park, which has been criticized for being too small and lacking enough high-profile rides. It did not release attendance figures or financial results until 2009.

Disney executives were hopeful that the park would soon become profitable.

"Our management team is very anxious to turn Hong Kong Disneyland into profitability and I think with such a strong performance as a base and with forthcoming expansions in the pipeline, we're very confident we can achieve that goal," said Andrew Kam, the park's managing director.

Hong Kong Disneyland faces competition from a number of theme parks scheduled to open around Asia in the next few years, including another Disney park in Shanghai.

But Kam said he's not worried about rivalry.

"It's not really a competition," he said, adding that for visitors coming from outside Hong Kong, it would be just one stop among the city's other tourist attractions.

Chinese mainland visitors made up the bulk of Hong Kong Disneyland's visitors and they accounted for 45 percent of total attendance in 2011, up from 42 percent the year before.

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