Walt Disney Co lost $1.4bn in profits in the first quarter of the year, as it closed its parks and cancelled movie releases. It is advertising sales also took a hit due to the effects of the coronavirus. Disney chair. Bob Iger said the company was facing unprecedented challenges and difficulties but he is confident of recovery.
Disney shares fell 2.2% on Tuesday and have fallen more than 30% this year. Most especially from its shuttered theme parks, but said Shanghai Disneyland will be reopened to a reduced number of visitors per day.
It is still not clear when other Disney's theme parks in Asia, the US, France and other high risk countries would again open for visitors, executives said, or when the company's range of inactive businesses including retail stores, cruise ships would be active.
Disney also said it will not pay any dividend for the first half of the fiscal year, which will preserve $1.6 billion in cash assuming it had kept the dividend constant at 88 cents per share.
Bob Chapek, who is now Disney's chief executive since February just as the coronavirus was spreading around the globe and became a pandemic, said Disney would reopen the Shanghai park on May 11th.
The Chinese Govt. last week, asked Walt Disney to cap attendance at 30% of capacity, or roughly 24,000 people, Chapek said. Disneyland will be restarting operations with " far below " that number for a few weeks while it adjusts to new safeguards including social distancing, masks and temperature screenings at their Parks, he said.
While, for now it is too early to predict when we'll be able to begin resumption of all of our operations, we are evaluating a number of different scenarios to ensure a cautious, sensible and deliberate approach to the gradual reopening of our parks, Chapek said.
The Chairman of Walt Disney said he is certain of recovery.