Disney boosted by 'housewives'

2005-08-14 17:46
Los Angeles - Saucy television soap opera "Desperate Housewives" has boosted ratings at the ABC network and helped corporate parent The Walt Disney Co to report sharply higher third- quarter profits.

The media conglomerate reported net income of $851m, or 41c a share, compared with $604m, or 29c a share in the same period last year.

Revenue increased to $7.72bn compared with $7.47bn in the third quarter last year.

The company said that income and earnings from its movie studio were down.

Disney cinema revenue dropped some 15% to $1.5bn, and profits went from $62m to a loss of $34m.

But the shortfall was more than made up for by an increase in operating income from television channels of $325m, or 48%.

This was due largely to popular shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost", and higher ad rates paid by cable operators for ESPN sports channels.

Operating income at Disney's theme parks and resorts division grew 6% due to increased attendance at the company's two major US theme parks.

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