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The parent company of Disneyland Paris has announced a €119 million loss for the first half of its 2010 fiscal year, as attendance plummeted over the key Christmas period.

Euro Disney S.C.A. saw revenues decline to €519.5m between October and March, a fall of 7% compared to the same period a year earlier. Year-on-year attendance at the Disneyland Parc and Walt Disney Studios theme parks declined by 600,000 to 6.5 million, although this was partially offset by a slight increase in guest spending.

On average, 1 in 5 hotel rooms at the resort were empty during the period, with occupancy at 79.6% compared to 85.8% in the previous year. Guests did spend slighty more per room,at €189.67 compared to €187.16.

The results cap a difficult 6 months for Disneyland Paris. Relations with employees are at a low point, with controversy over Cast Member suicides hitting the press and a strike over pay causing disruption during the Christmas high-season. The park is also still struggling with a €1.9 billion debt mountain.

Management at the resort are pinning their hopes on the recently-launched New Generation Festival to turn the its fortunes around. An attendance boost is likely following the return of Captain EO in June, and the opening of the €70 million Toy Story Playland later in the year.

The CEO of Euro Disney S.A.S., Philippe Gas, pointed to the global economic downturn as the cause for the poor results. He said: "The continued challenging economic context is reflected in our First Half revenues and net results, primarily due to lower attendance and occupancy at the Resort. For the same period last year, revenues had not been fully impacted by the economic decline, partly because of the way guests book their vacations in advance of visits. However, our focus on sales and marketing initiatives has helped improve guest spending."

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