The parent company of Disneyland Paris has cut its annual losses by 28% to €45.2 million, despite a continued decline in visitor numbers at the resort.
Euro Disney S.C.A. saw the number of guests visiting the resort's theme parks drop by 2.6% to 15 million. This was partially offset by an increase in average spending per guest, while the results were also buoyed by the sale of the property on which the Val d'Europe mall is located.
The decline in attendance was largely down to reduced numbers of visitors from outside France, with 3% fewer guests travelling from the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands. This led to a small decline in theme park revenues from €688.2 million to €685.3 million. The unfavourable exchange rate between the pound and the euro also hit occupancy at Disneyland Paris' on-site hotels, which declined by 1.9% - although increases in room rates meant that total hotel revenues actually increased.
For guests, the long-term impact of the resort's financial struggles could be a reduction in planned capital spending on new attractions over the next few years. In its statement, Euro Disney warns that if it cannot meet financial performance convenants linked to its debts, it will "have to appropriately reduce operating costs, curtail a portion of planned capital expenditures, sell assets and/or seek assistance from The Walt Disney Company or other parties as permitted under the debt agreements."
If the Disneyland Paris Resort is forced to curtail spending, the heaviest impact could be felt at the Walt Disney Studios Park. The resort's management have stated their intentions to invest heavily in the resort's second theme park, with a $150 million dark ride based on Pixar's Ratatouille movie strongly-rumoured to be in development for 2012.
The chief executive of Euro Disney S.C.A., Philippe Gas, said of the results: "In a year marked by the difficult economic context and challenging travel conditions, we achieved 15 million in attendance at our parks and 85 per cent occupancy in our hotels, remaining Europe's number one tourist destination."