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Comcast takes full ownership of NBCUniversal as profits soar at theme park division

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NBCUniversal's theme park division has been one of the company's star performers in recent years.

Comcast is to take full ownership of NBCUniversal, and plans to continue to invest heavily in new attractions at the company's booming theme park division.

The cable firm bought a 51% controlling stake in NBCUniversal in 2011, leaving General Electric with a 49% stake. In addition to NBCUniversal's broadcast business and movie studios, the deal also means that Comcast now fully owns Universal Studios Hollywood and the Universal Orlando Resort.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Comcast plans to increase capital spending by 25% during 2013, largely driven by the installation of new attractions at its theme parks. These are designed to continue to the momentum created by the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in 2010.

At Univeral Studios Hollywood, the company has agreed a $1.6 billion Evolution Plan with Los Angeles City Council, which will include the addition of a clone of the Wizarding World. Meanwhile, Universal Studios Florida is expanding its line-up with the addition of Transformers: The Ride - 3D and a second Harry Potter land.

Operating cash flow at NBCUniversal's theme park division rose by 9.9 percent to $953 million in 2012, helping to fund the ambitious expansion plans.

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