Letter to Shareholders [by Michael D. Eisner]
As the first rain of the El Niño season descends on Los Angeles, I find myself indoors and excited about writing my letter for the annual report. Happily, I understand more about the company than I do about El Niño. Actually I don’t understand El Niño at all, but everybody talks about it all the time. If I am not washed away in the next couple of hours, I will have had the time to effuse about our company’s phenomenal year just past, serving up a stream of numbers offering statistical support. That is something one is supposed to do in an annual report.
For example, I am supposed to make sure you are aware that our company had record revenues of $22.5 billion, representing a 20 percent increase over fiscal year 1996, that our Attractions division increased its revenues by 11 percent, achieving record revenues of $5 billion and operating income of $1.1 billion, that the Creative Content group had its best year ever, with revenues of $10.9 billion and operating income of $1.9 billion, that 106 new Disney Stores were opened, bringing the total to 636, and that ESPN continued to be the most successful sportscaster on the globe, contributing to Broadcasting’s total of $6.5 billion in revenues.
Numbers may tell the story for some companies, but at Disney they are only the consequence of an ongoing creative process that really began 75 years ago when Walt and Roy first hung out the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio shingle. For our company, financial success has always resulted from following the muse of originality and the taskmaster of quality.
So, in addition to a fiscal review, I would like to offer a little history lesson. To avoid having my children and yours simply skip to the glossy pages of pictures that follow, let me change that to a little “Disney history lesson.” And by the way, now you’ll know why I have never been more excited about the prospects and possibilities of this extraordinary enterprise called The Walt Disney Company.
Theme Parks and Resorts
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney Cruise Line
Walt Disney Imagineering
Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Theatrical
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Consolidated Statements of Income
Consolidated Balance Sheets
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flow
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders' Equity
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Quarterly Financial Summary
Selected Financial Data
Management's Responsibility for Financial Statements
Report of the Independent Accountants
Board of Directors and Corporate Executive Officers