Euro Disney brings down prices: Analysts doubt changes will solve company's problems

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EURO DISNEY is cutting hotel and restaurant prices in an effort to boost attendance at its beleaguered Paris amusement park.

Philippe Bourguignon, the company's president, yesterday revealed price reductions on some hotel rooms of up to 30 per cent.

The park has been criticised for being too expensive and uncompetitive when compared with US Disney parks, which have the advantage of good weather.

From January the prices of the cheapest hotel rooms for four people are to be cut from Fr450 ( pounds 52) to Fr300 a night. Middle-range hotels will also reduce their charges.

Mr Bourguignon said the aim was to make Euro Disneyland accessible to as many people as possible. But the verdict of analysts was that yesterday's changes were unlikely to help much.

'It may improve capacity a little, but at the end of the day it will make very little difference,' said Rebecca Winnington-Ingram, of the brokers Morgan Stanley International.

Euro Disney's share price has fallen sharply as it has become clear it is likely to be removed from the CAC-40, the French equivalant of the FT-SE 100, and replaced by the privatised bank BNP. Loss of its CAC place would be a severe blow since investment funds favour index shares.

Sentiment has also been hit by the unseasonally bad weather, which has deterred holidaymakers, making it even more difficult to fill the park's 5,700 hotel rooms.

In the the first nine months of its financial year the company has lost Fr1.5bn. Ms Winnington-Ingram is expecting full-year losses to total about Fr1.84bn.

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