Mouse roars: Disney profits up 32 percent

(MoneyWatch) Walt Disney's (DIS) profits for the second quarter rose 32 percent thanks to healthy growth in the entertainment giant's parks and resorts.

Net income grew to $1.51 billion, or 83 cents a share, from $1.14 billion, or 63 cents, a year earlier, Disney announced after markets closed Tuesday. Excluding special items such as tax adjustments, per-share earnings rose to 79 cents from 58 cents.

In the company's parks and resorts division, operating income was up 73 percent and revenue increased 14 percent. The media networks segment, which includes ESPN, ABC and the Disney Channel, saw a 7.7 percent gain in operating income as revenue rose 5.6 percent.

The movie division returned to profitability from a year earlier on profits of $118 million, and revenues increased 13 percent. Last year at this time Burbank, California- based Disney's studio division was reeling from the failure of "John Carter of Mars," which some analysts believe to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history.

This quarter the studio was able to rely on profits from "Oz: The Great and Powerful" and is going into next quarter with "Iron Man 3," which opened last weekend and took in $175 million, the second-biggest U.S. box-office debut ever. Worldwide the new movie brought in nearly $700 million.

Disney's consumer products revenues grew 12 percent to $763 million, while interactive sales gained 8 percent to $194 million.

Disney said Monday that it has agreed to collaborate with Electronic Arts (EA) in creating new Star Wars-based video games. The company recently closed LucasArts, a 31-year-old division which had previously created Star Wars videogames as well as original titles.