Subscribe to industry newsletters


Search jobs

Record profits driven by rising international creative exports

LONDON, UK: BBC Worldwidewill today publish its Annual Review for 2010/11 showing a double-digit rise in headline profit - up 10.3% to £160.2 million* (2009/10: £145.2 million), its highest level ever. Profit before tax, including discontinued operations, of £201.2 million includes a gain from the exit from a channels investment sold to partner Discovery in November.

Record profits driven by rising international creative exports

he strong levels of growth have helped lift the overall return to the BBC by 8.6% to £181.9 million (2009/10: £167.5 million).

The results mark BBC Worldwide's most successful year in taking great British content to the world, driving growth and exports to benefit the wider creative industries. The company grew headline sales by 7.8% to £1157.7 million in the 12 months to 31 March 2011 (2009/10: £1074.2 million). International sales increased by 9.6% to 55.5% of total headline sales as the business sharpens its focus on international markets.

Digital sales, predominantly online and mobile, increased to 8.1% of net sales., BBC Worldwide's flagship online property, has seen revenues increase by 113% in the US. In the year ahead, the company will pilot the global BBC iPlayer, develop a bigger games portfolio and launch more mobile services and apps. To date, downloads of BBC Worldwide apps have exceeded 12m, the Top Gear and Doctor Who pages on Facebook have over 11.8 million fans and an average 68 million visitors per month visit its websites.

'BBC World's most successful year'

Announcing the results, John Smith, chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said BBC Worldwide's role in driving growth for the wider UK creative industries and reinvesting money back into the BBC is more important than ever in a tough financial climate.

Smith said: "This was BBC Worldwide's most successful year ever in championing great UK content around the globe. By offering world-class British programming and brands that resonate with global audiences, we were able to lift revenues beyond a billion pounds for a third year in succession and also deliver impressive results."

"These results have enabled BBC Worldwide to return an increased amount back to the BBC - supporting development of world-class, original content in the context of a tighter financial settlement.

"BBC Worldwide also distributed programmes and formats produced by more than 300 UK independent producers in 2010/11. I am proud of the unique role we play in helping our sectors of the UK creative industries to expand through exports."

John Smith said the performance was underpinned by BBC Worldwide's strategy, with progress delivered against all five key strategic objectives:

Digital transformation

Becoming more international

Growing the scale of our TV channels

Increased investment in content

More direct connections with consumers

Other highlights in the year included:

  • Impartial news and lifestyle information was distributed to a monthly average of 58 million users by as the site moves rapidly towards profitability;
  • 74 000 hours of high-quality UK programming were sold to over 690 customers from the USA to Kazakhstan to Indonesia;
  • The top five selling programme titles (by value) in 2010/11 were Doctor Who: Series 5, Sherlock: Series 1, Top Gear: Series 15, Top Gear: Series 16 and Human Planet;
  • Overall, BBC Worldwide's debt fell during the year from £102.6 million to £52.3 million.
  • mith added: "BBC Worldwide'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's excellent momentum towards profitability."

    Robert Webb, Chairman of BBC Worldwide, said: "BBC Worldwide operates as one of the engines of the whole UK creative economy and our record performance last year allowed us to deliver on our core aims. We reinvested £182 million back into the BBC and also increased our support of the UK creative economy. We are confident that we will build on our current success in the year to come."

    *Exchange rate at time of publishing: £1=R10.90.

    Let's do Biz