When you’ve got around €2 billion in debt weighing you down, paying off €45.4 million might seem a drop in the ocean. But for Euro Disney SCA, the operating group behind Disneyland Paris, it’s another slow but sure step to financial stability. The company published its First Half 2011 results this morning, for the six months up to 31st March 2011 and had generally good news to report. Total revenues increased 8% compared to the period last year, maintaining the 8% rise of the First Quarter, to €559 million. A net loss of €99 million is a €15 million drop from last year, although the company points out that these results may be below what could be expected due to different Easter holiday dates this year. In attendance numbers, the resort has almost recovered the terrible drops of last year’s first half with theme park attendance up 5% to 6.9 million. In 2010, this figure fell 8% to 6.5 million, from a high of 7.1 million in 2009 (coming off the back of the extended 15th Anniversary). More good news for the Disney Hotels, too, as room occupancy rose back up a modest 3.8 percentage points to 83.4%. In 2010, it dropped a huge 6.2 percentage points to 79.6%, so the resort still has some way to climb to the 85.8% of first half 2009 but isn’t doing badly at all.
The debt repayment of €45.4 million in the first half, which was consistent with repayments during the same period last year, will be followed by €77.5 million of repayments in the next six months. The company is also negotiating its investment budgets for the next two financial years, something that we may be able to directly see in the parks. After deferring a €45.2 million payment to The Walt Disney Company for royalties and management fees in 2010, its investment budget for 2011 was set at just 3% of “the prior fiscal year’s adjusted consolidated revenues”. Thankfully, the company obtained lenders’ agreement on 31st March to increase the recurring annual investment budget from €37 million to €81 million for fiscal year 2011, and up to 5% of the prior fiscal year’s adjusted consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2012. That sounds like good news, but it still comes on the condition that the company meet its financial performance requirements for this year, or else a call to The Walt Disney Company and further delays for new attractions might be all that we see.