22 August 2019
Hong Kong Disneyland hopes its financials will improve after the planned addition of new facilities. Photo: CNSA
Hong Kong Disneyland hopes its financials will improve after the planned addition of new facilities. Photo: CNSA

HK Disneyland loss widens in FY16 as visitor numbers fall 10%

Hong Kong Disneyland has reported a net loss of HK$171 million (US$22.03 million) for the fiscal year ending September 2016, posting back-to-back annual losses after a HK$140 million deficit in the previous year.

In an announcement Monday, the resort said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the fiscal year stood at HK$715 million, down 11 percent compared to a year ago.

The worsened performance came as the theme park saw its visitor numbers fall 10 percent to 6.1 million, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Samuel Lau, executive vice president and managing director, took comfort from the fact that park attendance figures fell only 6 percent in the second half of the year, compared to a 13 percent slide in the first six months.

The figures point to an improving situation, he said, while also noting that the weather had been abnormally cold in the first half.

According to Lau, the theme park drew 2.19 million mainland visitors in the last fiscal year, down 21 percent compared to a year ago and accounting for 36 percent of the total.

Meanwhile, local visitor numbers stood at 2.37 million, down 10 percent but maintaining an overall ratio of 39 percent.

Tourists from other parts of the world made up the rest. 

The number of visitors from foreign countries rose 12 percent to 1.52 million in the year, the second highest on record, and its ratio of the total increased to 25 percent from 20 percent.

The figures show that the resort is a big draw for only people from mainland China, but also elsewhere, Lau said.

Asked if the fall in mainland visitors had anything to do with competition from Shanghai Disneyland that opened its doors last June, Lau said the China market is big enough for two Disney parks.

He pointed out that visitors’ consumption per capita has risen 4 percent year on year to record high, advancing for the seven consecutive year. 

Lau did not give a straight answer when asked whether Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL) could lay off staff or raise ticket prices in order to shore up its bottom line.

But he indicated that he is optimistic about the resort’s prospects, noting that a new hotel that will open on April 30, as well newly-added attractions and promotional campaigns in Guangdong province, are expected to bring in more visitors.

Legislator Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism functional constituency, said he too expects the Disney park to attract more visitors this year, as last year’s figures were affected by the Mong Kok clashes that took place in early February.

In other news, HKDL, in which the government has 53 percent stake, is waiting for funding after it submitted a HK$10.9 billion expansion plan last year, including addition of two new facilities.

The government, which promised to pay HK$5.8 billion of that amount, will apply to the Legislative Council’s finance committee for appropriation.

Lau said he is confident that the application will be approved as expansion is necessary to boost the resort’s financial prospects as well as the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s tourism sector.

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