Going to a Shareholders meeting, even if it is the Euro Disney S.C.A. general meeting, you can expect to hear the boring financial numbers. However the Disney fans still hope to get some news or something magical for the future. Even if it was just the opening date for the new Ratatouille attraction. But it was not mend to be and most of the 2 hours was related to the business side of the company. But it wasn’t all gloom and doom as we did get some fun stuff added in the mix.
The start things off, and after we got the legal stuff out of the way, Philippe Gas talked about the fiscal year 2013. As expected, Disneyland’s numbers are still in the red, but even then they can make it sound good with 22 million reduction in net loss, and blaming the crisis for a 7% loss in visitors. Of course this is all true and the majority of the shareholders attending seem to be in piece with it. The company is showing they are working hard to improve these numbers, even in these harsh times. Investing in the future is the key word. Already spend 510 million dollar in the last three years on quality improvement they are looking at the long term solution for the company. According to Philippe Gas there is some improvement in the crisis with possible growth in UK visitors, German visitors and the Middle East. Another group they are targeting is Russia. There seems to be a big market, ready to come over to Paris. Another positive note, even with lower attendance, was the overall spending of the guests; 4% more per guest in the park and 2% more per guest in the hotel.
But enough about the numbers. We want the fun part and it was Tom Fizgerald who took care of it by talking briefly about Ratatouille, the new attraction for the Walt Disney Studios. It was a short presentation but it showed us some new artwork, parts of the attraction in the workshop, Computers and the ride vehicle. Most of these can be found back on our facebook page. Go and have a look for a series of pictures. The presentation ended with a short show. A bunch of dancing chefs, Remy and of course Mickey and Minnie passed by too. Unfortunately the show was over before you know it. Too short! But we were here for other reasons.
After all this it was time for the voting of the resolutions. Boring stuff, but it has to be done. For those interested we advice to visit the EuroDisney S.C.A. website to see what the shareholders had to vote for. Mostly related to accepting the fiscal balance, shares related items and accepting the people to stay on the supervisory board.
Once that was out of the way the real fun started. The Q&A. Well, real fun! Not really. As usual many of the same people as the previous year came to the front and didn’t really bring anything to the table. They had personal issues, and while they have the right to address them, this is not the right platform. Luckily there were people who did bring up valid points and questions. Some wanted to know why the share is so low as he thought it was under valuated, when can we expect dividend, future of the company and more. But Philippe Gass did get annoyed with a couple of the people. One of them going as far as to say that nothing is done here and they are puppets of the Disney company in the US. Philippe defended the company strongly advising the man to stop and look for conspiracy where there are none. Shareholders were on Mr. Gass side and when that man return to his place words with other shareholders were exchanged who thought it would be a better idea for him to leave.
This year was a lot shorter than the usual years. The one negative thing was the venue. Cinemagique is not really the right place. Let’s hope next year back in one of the hotels with a nice breakfast and nicer gifts. Although free park tickets were given to all attending, and that is always great.