Blockbuster hits send profits soaring at Disney

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A string of smash-hit movies, including Toy Story 3, helped to boost Disney's profits by 40 per cent to $1.3bn (£830m) in the three months to 3 July. The US entertainment giant said it increased its revenues by 16 per cent to $10bn in the second quarter.

Alongside the third instalment of Toy Story, a strong box-office performance from Iron Man 2 and Alice In Wonderland lifted revenues at Disney's film studio arm by almost a third to $1.6bn.

Profits at its media networks business rose by half to $1.6bn, driven by a strong performance from its ESPN sports network. Bob Iger, president of the Walt Disney Company, said it was particularly pleased with America's performance at the World Cup, which generated returns that were "nothing short of spectacular". Broadcasting revenues rose by $5m to $209m driven by global sales of programmes from ABC Studios including Lost, Ghost Whisperer and Castle. Its theme parks and resorts business saw revenues increase by 3 per cent to $2.8bn.