Bob Iger, president and COO of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today expressed confidence in Disney’s expectations for strong earnings growth in fiscal 2004. Disney expects key drivers of that improvement to include continued growth at cable networks and improved financial performance of the ABC television network. The company also expects continued strong performance from its studio division, driven by the success of its DVD releases, and gradual recovery in its theme park unit.
Iger, appearing at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, also reiterated that earnings and cash flow growth and increasing returns on capital remain Disney’s most important financial priorities.
Iger noted that Disney’s radio stations and radio networks saw mid- to high-single digit advertising growth in the fourth quarter driven by strength in major markets. The company’s television station advertising for the quarter was generally on par with the prior year. Iger stated that network scatter pricing is above upfront levels at present and added that while it is still too early to make general predictions about the outlook for the coming months, the company remains encouraged by the apparent strength of the ad market.
Iger’s comments and responses during the Communacopia event are being made available live via Web cast. Please point your browser to www.disney.com/investors. A replay will be provided through Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. PDT.
Management believes certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made and the company undertakes no responsibility to update those statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the company, including further restructuring or strategic initiatives and actions relating to the company’s strategic sourcing initiative, as well as developments beyond the company’s control, including international, political, heath concern and military developments that may affect travel and leisure businesses generally and changing domestic and global economic conditions that may, among other things, affect the performance of the company’s theatrical and home entertainment releases, the advertising market for broadcast and cable television programming and demand for consumer products. Changes in domestic competitive conditions and technological developments may also affect performance of all significant company businesses.