On back to back days this week, Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company participated in the the Citi 2020 Global Technology Conference, and the Bank of America Virtual 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.
McCarthy spoke with Jessica Reif Ehrlich from Bank of America Securities, and Jason Bazinet from Citi about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on The Walt Disney Company. To summarize, COVID-19 threw a wrench into the company. Both conference discussions focused the various divisions of the company with some overlap between the two. Much of the discussion was focused on the theme parks, television and movie productions, and the direct to consumer side of the company with questions covering sports broadcast rights, Disney+, and even a lengthy discussion on the release of Mulan.
During the Bank of America conference, McCarthy shed some more light on Disney Cruise Line.
One of the businesses that I just want to mention is probably going to be last to come back for us, will be the cruise business. that has to do with just the nature of cruising and when we do get back in there will be social distancing, whatever is required at that time but also the booking period for cruise tends to be longer. so that probably will be the one that will be the last business to resume for us.Christine McCarthy speaking to Bank of America about the cruise business – September 10, 2020
Well the cruise ships, COVID has had an impact on lots and lots of businesses and lots and lots of supply chains and the shipyard we utilize for our cruise ships Meyer Werft was impacted and we encountered a delay we’re in negotiations and discussions with the shipyard to finalize dates but as soon as we have those will let, well make an announcement when the fifth ship (Disney Wish), which is the first of the three to be a delivered, but it is delayed from what we originally anticipated.Christine McCarthy speaking to Bank of America about the new cruise ship orders – September 10, 2020
The construction and delivery delay of the Disney Wish along with the other two ships on order is not a new revelation, however, it is one of the first official statements on the subject from The Walt Disney Company. In April, Meyer Werft spoke about the expected slowdown in cruise ship builds at the Papenburg, Germany shipyard as well an extended summer shutdown. While Disney has not mentioned much about the Disney Wish, reports from Germany suggests the ship’s construction is underway at the Neptune Weft yard where the engine room module is being assembled. Our last update was in August, so hopefully we will get an update soon.
Below is a video excerpt from the Bank of America conference where Christine McCarthy discusses the impacts of the pandemic on Disney Cruise Line.
If you are interested in hearing more you can view McCarthy’s full presentations via The Walt Disney Company at the Citi 2020 Global Technology Conference and Bank of America Virtual 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.