BBC Worldwide profits soar in annual financial report
16 July 2012
The commercial arm of the BBC, BBC Worldwide, has posted an 8% year-on-year rise in profits to £155m ($240.6m) in its Annual Review for 2011/2012.
The company’s revenues increased by 5% in the 12 month period ending on March 31 2012 to £1.08bn ($1.67bn). The revenue figures do not include the sale of the company’s magazines business for which it received a further £121m ($187.5m).
Sales outside of the UK made up 64% of the company’s revenues, increasing by 9 percentage points compared to the 2010/2011 period. The top selling programmes, each sold in more than 100 markets, include Top Gear, Doctor Who, Frozen Planet, Sherlock, Spooks, Planet Earth, Natural World and Torchwood.
Ad revenue for BBC Advertising grew by 22% year-on-year. For BBC Worldwide’s Channels network, it grew by 41% and BBC.com saw a 20% increase.
“Despite a challenging business environment for the advertising industry, BBC Advertising has delivered its best year yet,” says BBC Advertising executive vice-president and general manager Chris Dobson. “The breadth of clients we now represent, the varied multi platform opportunities we offer and the delivery of quality branded content makes BBC Advertising a unique and desirable multi-audience global partner for advertisers.”
Digital sales also grew over the year, making up 13% of the annual revenue, an increase from 8% during the previous year. Its TV programmes have been downloaded more than 31 million times globally and BBC Worldwide’s apps have been downloaded 25 million times.
The company’s expanding digital footprint is reflected in social media with it accruing more than 23 million Facebook fans. BBC Worldwide also launched 11 new console, social, online and mobile games through its digital entertainment and games business.
“By offering world-class British programming and brands that resonate with global audiences, we were able to lift headline sales beyond a billion pounds for a fourth year in succession and deliver impressive results,” says BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith.
BBC Worldwide has a portfolio of 32 international branded TV channels and a further 10 channels in the UK. During the financial year, BBC HD launched a full channel in Spanish-speaking Latin America, as well as channels in Taiwan, Thailand and the Nordic region. The Global BBC iPlayer is also now available in 16 markets worldwide including Canada and Australia.
The BBC recently named George Entwistle as its new director general. Entwistle will replace the outgoing Mark Thompson who is expected to stand down in September.
David Hing, London