At last, Euro Disney thrills with profit

NIGEL COPE

It has not exactly been the fastest or smoothest of fairground rides but it has never lacked adventure. Euro Disney, the debt-ridden French theme park, has finally reported its first profit since opening in 1992.

After a long line of lifeboat reconstructions, rights issues and even the intervention of a Saudi prince, Euro Disney yesterday reported a profit of Fr170m (pounds 22.4m) for the three months to June - although critics said the underlying picture remained bleak. The company expects to break even over the financial year to September, a year ahead of its target.

Its latest attraction, which is boosting box office takings, is the pounds 65m Space Mountain, a 50mph roller-coaster ride that fires sensation-seekers "from the earth to the moon" through a galaxy of meteorites, planets and falling stars. This opened earlier this month and is expected to attract an additional 500,000 visitors to Euro Disney a year. As a spokesman said: "It turns you upside down, inside out, everything. I've been on it 11 times."

In the three months to June, Euro Disney saw operating revenues from the theme park and hotels rise by 17 per cent to Fr1.3bn. The profit of Fr170m compares with a Fr546m loss in the same period last year. Attendances are up 20 per cent after the park cut entrance prices by a similar amount. Spending per head in the park has also increased. Profits have been boosted by cost-cutting, the opening of 11 new attractionsand April's cut in ticket prices.

Euro Disney shares rose by 10 per cent to 232p on the news, but some City analysts warned against an over-optimistic response to the figures, pointing out that the company still had debts of around Fr5bn. Euro Disney's chairman, Philippe Bourguignon, admitted that "a lot still has to be done" to improve Euro Disney's financial situation. He added that break-even will "depend on the rest of the summer."

Nigel Reed, analyst at Paribas Capital Markets, said: "We should see reasonable figures next year but after that progress will be slow. The backdrop is different from the headline numbers." The 17 per cent increase in revenues compared with last year, when visitor numbers were suppressed by stories that the theme park was set to close.

Mr Reed now forecasts that Euro Disney will make Fr205m profit for the full year but warns that it will have to boost revenues by more than 40 per cent to justify its current share price.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate