Walt Disney to Lay Off 32,000 Workers as Covid-19 Hits Theme Parks--Update
By Clarence Leong and P.R. Venkat
Walt Disney Co. is planning to layoff 32,000 employees,
primarily at its theme parks, as the coronavirus continues to hit
the entertainment company's businesses hard.
Disney announced 28,000 job cuts in September and it expects to
terminate its employees' contracts in the first half of fiscal
Disney warned that it could take additional measures such as not
declaring future dividends and either reducing or not making
certain payments, such as contributions to its pension and
postretirement medical plans.
Like many companies, Disney has been severely affected by the
Covid-19 pandemic that has seen governments around the world
announcing lockdowns that have led to closure of leisure parks,
cruise ships and movie halls. The U.S. is among the worst hit by
the pandemic and it is unclear when the company will be able to
reopen its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, Calif. that has been
closed since March.
In a filing late Wednesday, Disney said that it was considering
additional measures such as suspending capital spending, reducing
film and television content investments and implementing additional
"Some of these measures may have an adverse impact on our
businesses," the company warned.
Disney announced earlier this month a second consecutive
quarterly loss as the pandemic hit the company's core businesses
like theme parks and movie distribution. However, the company's
direct-to-consumer business has emerged as a bright spot:
Subscriptions to Disney+ hit 73.7 million as of Oct. 3, up from
more than 60 million reported in August.
Disney said it also plans to launch a general entertainment DTC
video streaming-offering under the Star brand outside the U.S. in
calendar year 2021.
"With the unknown duration of Covid-19 and yet to be determined
timing of the phased reopening of certain businesses, it is not
possible to precisely estimate the impact of Covid-19 on our
operations in future quarters," the company said.
Write to P.R. Venkat at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 26, 2020 03:44 ET (08:44 GMT)
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