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HK Disney's 1st profit since opening

(Shanghai Daily)

08:13, February 19, 2013

Chinese mainland visitors pose in front of a castle at Hong Kong Disneyland yesterday. Hong Kong Disneyland yesterday reported a net profit of HK$109 million (US$14 million) for the financial year that ended on September 29, the first annual profit since the resort opened in September 2005, as new attractions helped push visitor numbers to a record.

DISNEYLAND in Hong Kong has turned a profit for the first time since it opened in 2005, as new attractions helped push visitor numbers to a record, theme park officials said yesterday.

The park earned HK$109 million (US$14 million) in the year that ended on September 29, and its revenue jumped 18 percent to HK$4.27 billion. The park drew 6.73 million visitors, 13 percent more than the previous year, with guests spending 6 percent more than a year earlier.

The struggling park's losses had narrowed from HK$1.6 billion in 2008, the year it started disclosing financial figures, to HK$237 million in 2011.

Legislators and analysts have blamed the park's poor performance on its small size. It's the smallest of Disney's parks worldwide. But the 126-hectare park, set on reclaimed land on Lantau island, will be a quarter bigger once an expansion is completed later this year.

Andrew Kam, Hong Kong Disneyland's managing director, called the park's swing into profit a "significant milestone."

"The business has turned a corner," Kam said.

He said the park expansion was "the most critical success factor that contributed to our result this year."

The US$465 million expansion adds three new attractions that Kam said allowed the park to draw more visitors. Two have already opened, including one based on the "Toy Story" series of movies and another with a Wild West theme called "Grizzly Gulch." The final phase, "Mystic Point," which has a supernatural theme and is set in a rain forest, is set to open by the middle of the year.

Visits by local residents, who accounted for a third of total visitors, rose 21 percent, while those by Chinese mainland visitors, who make up nearly half of the total, climbed 13 percent.

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