Euro Disney meets parent company over funding

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The Independent Online
EURO DISNEY, which said yesterday it expected to make a 'substantial' full-year loss, is talking to the US-based Walt Disney Company, owner of half the theme park near Paris, about raising fresh funds, writes Gail Counsell.

The company said: 'Anticipated losses and the expenditures required for the company's on-going capital investment programme will have an adverse effect on its cash and financial positions. In order to address this situation Euro Disney and the Walt Disney Company are exploring potential sources of financing'.

In the six months to 31 March, Euro Disney lost just over Fr1bn after tax on revenues of Fr1.8bn. The park, which some estimates say needs 16 million visitors a year before it is viable, had a worse-than-expected 3.3 million visitors and hotel occupancy rates of only 37 per cent in the first half.

The first half is the weakest. In its initial 12 months of operation the park had just under 11 million visitors. Rebecca Winnington-Ingram, an analyst at the broker Morgan Stanley, said losses would gradually abate over the next two years.

The shares fell 38p to 895p.