Paris mouse trap

Royalties dent Euro Disney net for year

NEW YORK — Disneyland Paris theme park operator Euro Disney said Tuesday that royalties and management fees paid to parent Walt Disney Corp. dropped its net income by 47% to 23.6 million euros ($24.8 million) for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Disney, which owns nearly 40% of the French company, reinstated the fees and royalties this year as planned, after a five-year waiver that was part of a financial restructuring of the troubled Paris park in 1994. This year’s fees, totaling $39.4 million, were accompanied by an increase in leasing and net debt repayments.

Disney, which also has a park in Tokyo, is continuing its international expansion. Monday it announced a deal with the government of Hong Kong to build a park in the former British colony, gaining a foothold in the enormous Chinese market.

Euro Disney said attendance was flat for the year at 12.5 million, although attendance in the fourth quarter was the highest since 1992. Hotel occupancy rose a faint 1.7%, which still constituted a record high. Revenue rose about 2.5% to $966 million.

Future returns

The company said financial results from this point forward will benefit from its renegotiating interest rates and principal repayment terms of existing loans that will translate into significant annual cash-flow savings over the next several years.

This spring, the Adventureland attraction Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril will reopen after a full renovation. Construction continues on Val d’Europe, with a fall 2000 opening anticipated for the shopping center and a second suburban rail station.

Euro Disney is also in the middle of planning for the launch of Disney Studios, a second park to be constructed on the Disneyland Paris site. As reported, the project will be financed by combination of an equity offering and a loan.

Parent company Disney plans to announce its own quarterly financial results Thursday.

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