The commercial arm of the broadcasting giant BBC, reported a record revenue of £1.16 billion, a year on year increase of 7.8% in the 12 months to March 31. This has largely been attributed to strong performances from its international TV channel business.
With an increase of 9.6%, international sales have accounted for 55% of total revenues, particularly in the English-speaking markets of Australia and the United States.
Chief executive John Smith, who was awarded a bonus payout of £138,000 said, “This was BBC Worldwide’s most successful year ever in championing great UK content around the globe. We were able to lift revenues beyond a billion pounds for a third year in succession and also deliver impressive results.”
BBC Worlwide’s pre-tax profits were up £201 million. This figure includes the sales of its 50% stake in the cable TV channel Discovery.
The top four selling programmes for BBC Worldwide have been the debut series of Sherlock Holmes, The Human Planet, Top Gear and Doctor Who.
8.1% of BBC Worlwide’s total net income derives from online advertising revenue, which it plans to increase to 10% by the end of March 2012.
Smith said, “BBC Worlwide’s results were driven by a number of key factors including continuing success of our programme sales and DVD businesses, growth in our TV channels as well as BBC.com’s excellent momentum towards profitability.”
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