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Losses Increase at Hong Kong Disneyland

Variety logo Variety 2/21/2017 Patrick Frater
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Losses at the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park increased in 2016 to $22.1 million (HK$171 million,) as visitor numbers dropped to 6.1 million. But the park operators said that the trend is now improving and that they will press on with investment plans.

The park, which is jointly owned by the Hong Kong government and Disney, generated revenues of $619 million (HK$4.8 billion,) down from $659 million (HK$5.11 billion) in 2015, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of HK$715 million. The net loss was only its third year of net losses in 11 years of operation.

The opening of a larger Disney theme park in June in mainland China, appears to have had little negative impact. The Hong Kong park’s weakness came in the first half of last year, before Shanghai Disneyland opened. It also reported a greater proportion of international visitors than in 2015. Locals accounted for 39% of total attendance, while mainland and international visitation made up 36% and 25%, respectively. Hotel occupancy was similar to 2015 at close to 80%.

The proposed $1.41 billion (HK$10.9 billion) expansion plan is subject to approval by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. It would add two new themed areas featuring Marvel and “Frozen,” a transformed Castle and Hub area with two new day and night shows, and new experiences in Adventureland.

In 2015 Hong Kong Disneyland counted 6.8 million visitors, compared with 7.5 million in 2014. Revenues in 2015 were $659 million (HK$5.11 billion,) compared with US$705 million (HK$5.47 billion) in 2014.

“HKDL continued to drive visitation with exciting new offerings and seasonal events during the year amid a soft tourism and leisure market,” said Samuel Lau, executive vice president and managing director of HKDL. “We are excited that Iron Man Experience, the first Marvel-themed ride at a Disney park, debuted last month and that a new resort hotel and other exciting offerings will open later in fiscal 2017 to further broaden the resort’s appeal.”

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