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Hong Kong Disneyland turns a profit for first time




AFP FILE PHOTO

HONG KONG—Hong Kong’s struggling Disneyland in 2012 made a profit for the first time since opening eight years ago, thanks to a surge in revenue as it welcomed a record number of visitors.

The park made HK$109 million ($14.06 million) in the fiscal year ending September 29, 2012, compared with a net loss of HK$237 million the year before.

The result was fuelled by a 13 percent jump in attendance to a record 6.73 million people, providing relief for the resort, which has been battling lower-than-expected numbers since opening in 2005.

Visits by Hong Kong residents posted a record growth of 21 percent while visits by mainland visitors expanded by 13 percent. Revenue meanwhile grew 18 percent to HK$4.27 billion.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort’s managing director Andrew Kam said it was “very encouraging” to see the “significant improvement”.

He added: “Attendance, hotel occupancy and guest spending levels continued to reach all-time highs.”

Hong Kong Disneyland, which is majority owned by the city’s government, has been desperate to ramp up the number and quality of its attractions as it seeks to lure more visitors while facing stiff competition from local rival Ocean Park.

Critics have attributed many of its problems to its size — it is the smallest of all the Disney’s theme parks — and a lack of attractions catered to the key China market, which accounts for nearly half of its visitors.

Doubts about the park’s future have further been stoked since China gave approval for a park to be built in Shanghai.

A deal to open Hong Kong Disneyland was signed in 1999 as part of a plan to boost the city’s economy as it reeled from the Asian financial crisis.


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