Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Disneyland Paris Announces Its First Quarter Results - Plus : First Ratatouille Ride Ad

Disneyland Paris posted today its First Quarter Announcement with financial results for this 2014 fiscal year 1st quarter. And the results are... bad! To be honest, although the resort revenues decreased 5% during this first quarter DLP had the luck that the average guest spending increased 4% in the parks and 6% in hotels which helped to reduce the bad results. The economy situation in Europe is still indeed not very good but these results also mean that the ( very ) good efforts that the park did on the 2013 Halloween and Christmas seasons didn't paid as much as expected. It's a pity because they did a real good job and they deserve better results.

You have the full corporate release below but the number which is not written on it - and the one which interest the most DLP fans - is the one about DLP profit or cash flow. Why? Because depending on the profit DLP makes each year depends the fate of new rides in the park. Right now the Ratatouille ride will open at the end of June but then, and although DLP has plenty of projects waiting at DLP Imagineering, if they don't find the money by themselves to build new attractions DLP fans might have to wait some years before riding them. At least until someone at the WDC will have an epiphany and understood that there is no other way to save DLP than helping them financially to open new rides in the parks each year or so...

Talking about Ratatouille, Disneyland Paris released in Germany - and apparently only in Germany - its first Ad for the Ratatouille ride. You have the video below but you won't learn a lot about the ride itself in this Ad as it's entirely done with clips from Pixar animated movie, probably because the works are not enough advanced yet to film inside the show building. But the good question is: why DLP released now this Germany only Ad, even without ride images? Here is what i think is the reason why: DLP biggest competitor in Germany is Europa Park which will open next April - i.e three months before Ratatouille opening - a big sophisticated "E-Ticket" family ride inspired by Luc Besson famous animated series "Arthur and the Minimoys". For sure Europa Park will make a huge advertising campaign on their new ride and the problem for DLP is that they need Germans visitors. Germany's economy is doing well in Europe and in this bad economy times Germans have indeed more money than Spaniards or Italians, so DLP probably wants to make sure that they're aware that a major ride will open soon to DLP and that Germans will keep their money to come to DLP WDS for the Ratatouille ride...

Anyway, have a read of the DLP corporate release below, the Annual general meeting is scheduled for February 12, and we might know a bit more about DLP future when it will happen. Not sure, though... 

EURO DISNEY S.C.A. Fiscal Year 2014
First Quarter Announcement
  • Resort revenues decreased 5% reflecting lower theme parks attendance and hotel occupancy linked to the continued economic softness in Europe
  • Average guest spending increased 4% in theme parks and 6% in hotels reflecting the Group’s strategic focus on improving the guest experience
  • Opening of the new Ratatouille-themed attraction in early Summer 2014
    (Marne-la-Vallée, February 4, 2014) Euro Disney S.C.A. (the "Company"), parent company of Euro Disney Associés S.C.A., operator of Disneyland® Paris, reported today revenues for its consolidated group (the "Group") for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2014 which ended December 31, 2013 (the "First Quarter"):
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Resort operating segment revenues decreased 5% to €304.9 million from €320.7 million in the prior-year period.
Theme parks revenues decreased 3% to €172.9 million from €179.0 million in the prior-year period due to a 7% decrease in attendance, partly offset by a 4% increase in average spending per guest. The decrease in attendance was mainly due to fewer guests visiting from France, Spain and the Netherlands. The increase in average spending per guest was due to higher spending on admissions and merchandise.
Hotels and Disney Village® revenues decreased 6% to €122.4 million from €129.8 million in the prior-year period due to a 9.6 percentage point decrease in hotel occupancy and lower Disney Village activity, partly offset by a 6% increase in average spending per room. The decrease in hotel occupancy resulted from 51,000 fewer room nights sold compared to the prior-year period, primarily due to fewer guests visiting from France, Spain and the Netherlands, as well as lower business group activity. The increase in average spending per room resulted from higher daily room rates, partly offset by lower spending on food and beverage.
Other revenues decreased by €2.3 million to €9.6 million from €11.9 million in the prior-year period, mainly due to lower sponsorship revenues.

Real estate development operating segment revenues decreased by €4.9 million to €1.4 million, from €6.3 million in the prior-year period. This decrease was due to one land sale closed in the prior-year period while no land sale closed in the First Quarter. Given the nature of the Group's real estate development activity, the number and size of transactions vary from one year to the next.
Commenting on the results, Philippe Gas, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney S.A.S., said:
"In a still challenging economic environment, we realized lower attendance and occupancy as compared to last year, which resulted in a 5% decrease in resort revenues. However our strategy aimed at increasing guest contribution helped us offset some of the attendance and occupancy weakness as we achieved record guest spending in both our parks and hotels for a first quarter.
Even though we remain prudent given the current economic environment, we believe the fundamentals of our business are strong and we are confident in our long-term strategy focused on investing in the guest experience. The opening of our new Ratatouille-themed attraction this summer fully reflects this growth strategy."

New Ratatouille-themed attraction announced for Disneyland® Paris in early summer 2014
Last year, the Group announced a new attraction based on the Disney•Pixar movie Ratatouille. This unique attraction, which is scheduled to open in the Walt Disney Studios® Park in early summer 2014, will take guests into the world of Remy – a talented young rat who dreams of becoming a renowned French chef. Disney storytelling, combined with state-of-the-art technology, will create the magic of this romantic, larger-than-life, Parisian experience. For more information, please refer to the press release issued on February 28, 2013 which is available on the Group's website. 

Picture: copyright Max Fan

Video and part of the text: copyright Disneyland Paris


Torsten said...

Hi Alain,

your theory why the clip was released in German only sounds plausible, but I think even if it does, it is not correct.
DLP has already removed the clip from it's German homepage again.

So my guess is that it just leaked before it was intended to be published because someone in the team for the German site simply made a mistake.

I am sure that they have the same clip for several languages and the intention was to publish them all together at the same time.

But the fact that they need more visitors from Germany is correct in any way, since the numbers from today show that most of all the markets that were the most important in all the last years have significanlty dropped in visitor numbers.
DLP disregarded the German market for several years, more than a decade, to be correct.
And there are indeed signs for a change of mind in the recent months.
I analyzed this a bit here on dein-dlrp.de. (Its only in German, but I hope it is still ok to post this link here - if not, feel free to remove it)

As an example you can take the new Free-TV Disney Channel in Germany that was launched on January 17 this year.
They are showing a DLP-commercial there on a high frequency - almost a suprise keeping in mind that they haven't advertised on German TV since the "Need magic"-campaign.
Now one may say, that it is only natural that they do so, because it is on the "Disney Channel" - in Germany it isn't unfortunately.
Until last year Disney partly owned the Free-TV channel SuperRTL where many Disney series and movies were broadcasted.
And guess what they did all the last 3 years in the commercial breaks of Disney movies? They did not show any of their own commercials for Disneyland Paris, but instead sold these commercial-slots to their competitor "Phantasialand" - in times where they should promote DLP - since a significant amount of people watching a classic Disney movie would have been the perfect audience - but instead they lost this chance and preferred to get some money for displaying "Phantasialand"-commercials.

But if they want to stop disregarding the German market in the coming years, there is one thing they HAVE to do: Give the Germans the same good discounts and offers like they do for bookings through their UK/FR/NL pages - as so far the discounts for Germany are always significantly worse than those for other markets.

Jones said...

Just a small correction: Disney still partly owns SuperRTL, but they will not supply any content in the future.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

It's natural that DLP attendance is falling because, besides the not so great European economies, the Resort have not added any significant new attractions for many years (IMO, the last one was Tower of Terror), and the main park has not added anything significant since Space Mountain!

The Resort may do excellent seasonal events, but without new attractions attendance will continue to decrease. I hope that Ratatouille really increases the Resort attendance and they learn the lesson and announce more new E-Tickets soon, including at least one at Disneyland Park.

By the way Thorsten, I live in Brazil and recently booked a trip to DLP. I checked the DLP website to make reservations at a Resort hotel and the price if I selected France as my country was considerably lower than the price if I selected other countries, so I didn't make the reservation online, but called DLP to make the reservation, explained the situation to the attendant and he booked my stay for the French price knowing that I live in Brazil; so I suggest you and others to do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I think DLRP is doing very well. How so? Well, consider the following...

* No new E-ticket in WDSP since 2007 (Tower of Terror)
* No new E-ticket in DLP since 1995 (Space Mountain)
* Terrible park maintenance
* Low satisfaction with staff
* Sluggish merchandise sales
* Crippling debt, poorly structured
* Europe has had the worst financial crisis since WWII

It's a miracle DLRP is still alive! Considering all the problems it has faced and continues to face, any lesser resort would have closed forever.

So I am VERY positive about the future. The worst is over. New attractions are coming (albeit slowly), maintenance has improved, bad staff are being replaced, merchandise sales are up, the debt has been totally restructured, and Europe's financial crisis is starting to improve.

Things can only get better! :)