Tokyo Disneyland Rings Up Record Profit Despite Drop in Admissions (Report)

Tokyo Disneyland GETTY H 2016
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Oriental Land, operator of the Tokyo Disney theme parks, is set announce profits of $677 million, its fifth straight year of record results.

Owner of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, Oriental Land, is set announce record profits of ?74 billion ($677 million) despite a 4 percent drop in visitors to a little more than 30 million in the year to Mar. 31, according to a report in the Japanese business daily Nikkei.

Profits grew by three percent due to higher ticket prices and spending per visitor at souvenir and concession stands, pushing sales up 1 percent to $4.3 billion. Ticket prices rose by $4.50 last year, the third consecutive hike, while the fall in visitor numbers was the first in four years.

Ticket price rises will help fund a planned $4.5 billion spend on new attractions through 2024, helping Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea compete with Osaka's Universal Studios Japan (USJ), which has been enjoying record visitor numbers since it opened its Harry Potter world. USJ also has plans for a new Nintendo-themed attraction, based on some of the Japanese video-game maker's popular characters.

Overall, the Japanese theme park sector grew more than 8 percent in 2015 to over $6 billion, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Income has been boosted by record tourist numbers: Nearly 20 million people visited Japan from overseas last year, with Chinese tourists driving growth and spending. 

Disney's sixth resort worldwide will open in Shanghai on June 16. Ticket prices of 499 yuan ($75.90) have not deterred visitors from making the opening day of the $5.5 billion park a sell-out in advance. A one-day pass at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea costs $63, though average incomes are much higher in Japan.

Shares in Oriental Land were down 0.8 percent to $70.56 in lunchtime trading in Tokyo, against a drop of 0.25 percent for the Nikkei 225 average.