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'Plenty of opportunity for expansion in China' says Iger as Shanghai booms

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Disney chair Bob Iger has said that there is “plenty of opportunity for expansion” in China, as its parks division, buoyed by the operator’s overseas ventures, enjoyed a strong third quarter of the fiscal year.

In its latest earnings report, an increase in visitor spending at Disney's Shanghai and Paris resorts contributed to strong growth for the company's parks and resorts division, with revenues growing 12 per cent to nearly US$5bn (€4.17bn, £3.76bn) and operating income increasing 18 per cent to US$1.17bn (€996m, £899m).

Specifically in Shanghai, the earnings results reflected the company’s first full quarter of operations, compared to the previous year, which included opening costs.

“This is basically a national tourist destination,” said Bob Iger, speaking on the success of the Shanghai park in its first year. “It is a very, very well-received product in China, and we have plenty of opportunity for expansion.”

Disney has already started work on expanding its Shanghai park, with construction already underway on the new Toy Story Land, which is scheduled to open in 2018. Speaking during the earnings call, Iger alluded to further expansion beyond Toy Story, though what that could be is still under wraps.

Shanghai Disneyland has had greater initial success than any other Disney park, with the attraction on course to break even in its first full year of operation – something no Disney park has managed to achieve in the last three decades.

In terms of major expansion, in a previous interview Iger hinted at the possibility of a second Disney development in mainland China, saying there was “potential” for a second park. He added however that Disney would expand the Shanghai resort first.

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Disney chair Bob Iger has said that there is “plenty of opportunity for expansion” in China, as its parks division, buoyed by the operator’s overseas ventures, enjoyed a strong third quarter of the fiscal year.
TAW,VAT
Bob Iger and Disney are looking at China as a key area for significant expansion /  Zhao Hanrong/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
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