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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The Walt Disney Co. has been hard hit by the recent drop in tourism, as its fourth quarter profits have dropped 68% from the same period one year ago. The company has reported a net income of $53 million for fourth quarter 2001, as compared with $167 million for fourth quarter 2000.

Disney’s pro forma profit, which reflects the shuttering of Go.com and the sale of the Fairchild Publications division, stands at $132 million for fourth quarter 2001. This figure reflects a 60% decrease from fourth quarter 2000, when the company’s pro forma profit stood at $328 million.

Despite Disney’s efforts to reduce costs by cutting 4,000 jobs and closing unprofitable Internet ventures, the company has suffered a net loss of $158 million for fiscal 2001. The upcoming year doesn’t look much brighter, as Disney has predicted that operating income will fall 50% in the fiscal first quarter ending December 31.

Disney is already working to offset the drop in tourism, as earlier this week it unveiled a discount program at its Anaheim theme parks. The program, which is designed for Southern California residents, allows locals to buy two tickets for just $6 more than the cost of one. Two adult tickets now cost $49, while two tickets for children now cost $39.

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