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Blockbuster movies give boost to Disney's revenue

Billboard of Disney movie Maleficent Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hit blockbusters like Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie drive Disney's quarterly revenues

US entertainment giant Walt Disney's fourth quarter revenue beat market expectations thanks to its recent blockbuster movies.

The company reported a 7% increase in quarterly revenue to $12.39bn (£7.8bn), above expectations of $12.36bn.

Hit films Guardians of the Galaxy released in July and Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie drove its studio unit growth by almost 18%.

Disney said it would release another anticipated hit Toy Story 4 in 2017.

"Our results for fiscal 2014 were the highest in the company's history, marking our fourth consecutive year of record performance," said chief executive Robert Iger in a statement.

The five Marvel movies that Disney has released since 2009 after buying the brand have averaged $1bn in worldwide box office sales, he added.

Revenue at its popular parks and resorts also rose 7% on increased attendance and higher ticket prices for admissions.

But operating income at the company's cable networks business fell 1% in the same period due sports giant ESPN having to pay higher contract fees for National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) games.

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