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'Pirates' DVD, Asset Sales Help Surge Disney Profit

7 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Strong DVD sales of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Disney/Pixar's Cars, and The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition contributed to The Walt Disney Co. posting first-quarter (ended Dec. 30) studio entertainment revenue of $2.6 billion, up 29% from the same period last year.

Global theatrical revenue fell comparatively with releases The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause and D?j? Vu against last year's box office hit The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Operating income in the segment skyrocketed more than 350% to $604 million from $128 million last year.

Overall revenue for the quarter, which included combined $123 million revenue increases from ABC TV and ESPN cable channel, topped $9.7 billion compared to $8.8 billion last year. Net income was $1.7 billion compared to $734 million last year.

Revenue was aided in part by the one-time sales of Disney's remaining 39.5% interest in E! Entertainment Television to Comcast Corp. for $1.2 billion and 50% stake in Us Weekly for $300 million.

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