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29 October 2014
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BBC Worldwide Press Releases

BBC Worldwide Delivers Record Profits

Results for 12 months to 31st March 2007:
profits up 24% to £111.1m

Further investment to develop the
world’s premier content network


BBC Worldwide Ltd, the commercial arm and wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), today published its Annual Review for 2006/07.

The full-year results show in the twelve months to 31st March 2007, record pre-tax profits of £111.1m including exceptional items (2005/06: £89.4m), on sales of £810.4m including BBC Worldwide’s share of joint ventures (2005/06: £785.1m). The proportion of sales to outside the UK was up by 5% year on year to 46%. Investment in BBC-commissioned programmes was also up at £96.3m from £89.0m in 2005/06, with total programme investment at £103.6m.

Highlights of the year include continued strong profits growth, very strong international sales of hit shows and formats around the world, the refreshing of the company’s wholly owned channel portfolio and laying the foundations for strong digital revenue growth.


Following a strategic review and re-organisation three years ago, BBC Worldwide is now focused on profit and growth. It operates six businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Content & Production, Magazines, Home Entertainment and Digital Media. Both through its own operations and via partnerships and joint ventures, BBC Worldwide seeks to drive commercial benefit from rights and content on behalf of the BBC and other UK rights holders. In the UK its products and services help to extend audiences’ appreciation of BBC programmes. Internationally the company promotes the best of British talent and culture across a wide range of media.


John Smith, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide, said: “BBC Worldwide has achieved a three-fold increase in profits in the last three years. We have exceeded expectations in most of our businesses over the past 12 months, reflecting healthy returns from our new Channels business, strong TV catalogue sales and growing demand internationally for BBC formats. We are now investing to build our digital offering and strengthen our position in markets such as the US, China, India and Australia, creating one of the world’s premier content networks.”

Etienne de Villiers, Non-executive Chairman, BBC Worldwide, said: “BBC Worldwide has reached a watershed. It has proven capable of delivering against a demanding business plan with commercial efficiency; it now is poised to grow significantly with new product lines and in exciting markets.”

Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC, commented: "BBC Worldwide continues to deliver excellent returns for licence payers from the content they help fund us to make. Its success is increasingly critical to our ability to invest in original creative programming for audiences in the UK, and the company is playing major part in taking those programmes out to the rest of the world."



For more information, please contact:

BBC Worldwide
Ali Jeremy, Director of Communications, BBC Worldwide
Tel: + 44 (0) 208 433 3995
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7736 480228

Jennie Allen, Director of Corporate Affairs, BBC Worldwide
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8433 2973
Mobile: +44 (0) 7720 731735
BBC Press Office: +44 (0) 20 8576 1865

Tim Burt
+44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Images available from:

Notes to Editors:


Global Channels sales £169.0m (£166.1m); profit £20.9m (£6.9m)

  • 28 channels available in 259m+ homes around the world, broadcasting in 15 different languages.
  • New BBC-branded channel portfolio developed: BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC HD.
  • BBC Entertainment replaced BBC Prime in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia and launched post-year end in India together with the pre-school brand, CBeebies.
  • Global Channels joined forces with the distribution and advertising sales teams from BBC World – the BBC’s commercially funded, global, 24-hour news and information channel – allowing the teams to present a single face to market for all six BBC-branded channels.
  • UKTV (joint venture with Virgin Media) had a good year with its Sky carriage deal being renewed, commercial audiences growing by 18% and an ad sales performance above the market average.

Global TV Sales £216.4m (£188.9m); profit £40.2m (£33.7m)
  • Enhanced position as No 1 exporter of UK television programmes, providing a global showcase for great British talent.
  • BBCWW TV Sales and Content & Production revenue broadly accounted for 38% of total UK TV exports last year (compared to 32% the previous year).
  • The year’s most successful new titles included Doctor Who, Robin Hood, Torchwood, Life on Mars, 9/11 – The Twin Towers and Planet Earth, the latter being viewed in 95 countries and territories and grossing in excess of £22m in global sales to date.
  • Sales to Europe (ex-UK) were up by 23% from £46.5m to £57.1m, aided by a country by country analysis of market tastes and tailored sales strategy.
  • Sales to the Americas were up by 17.2% but profits were impacted by a high proportion of co-production deals (on which BBC Worldwide makes lower margins) and the US dollar weakening against sterling.
  • In the Rest of the World profits were up 26.9% although the strong pound had some impact on results. The BBC’S first ever co-production with China was secured – Wild China with CCTV. In Australia drama was a particularly powerful revenue driver.
  • Key event of the year remains BBC Showcase, the world’s largest trade event hosted by a single distributor. In February 2007, the event boasted 600 hours of new content and attracted over 550 buyers from all over the world.
  • BBC Worldwide’s catalogue now includes 2000 hours of programming available for digital distribution and over 220 hours of High Definition content.
  • BBC Worldwide’s FM radio joint venture with Mid Day Multimedia Ltd saw the re-launch of the radio station in Mumbai, plus new stations launching in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

Content and Production sales £52.9m (£36.1m); profit £9.5m (£3.2m)
  • Growth driven by the success of Dancing with the Stars, a hit in over 41 countries.
  • Existing formats continued to deliver, such as Weakest Link in France, Friends Like These and The Generation Game in South Africa, and It Takes Two and Honey We’re Killing the Kids in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Just the Two of Us became the first BBC entertainment format to be licensed to a Chinese broadcaster (Hunan TV). In Australia, where it plays as It Takes Two, a second series launched in 2007. The format has also been licensed in Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey, Russia, Croatia and the Ukraine.
  • Joint venture deal announced with Australian independent producer, the Freehand Group.
  • Worldwide network of local production offices planned.
  • Developing, a natural history portal to support the launch of Earth the movie in autumn 2007/08.

Magazines sales £171.3m (£171.8m); profit £20.0m (£19.5m)
  • BBC Magazines performed well in a flat market, growing its circulation revenues and increasing its share of advertising revenues.
  • One in four UK adults reads a BBC title every month.
  • The year’s best-performing magazines were Top Gear, Good Food, Doctor Who Adventures and CBeebies Weekly in terms of circulation growth.
  • Subscriptions across portfolio now up to 650,000.
  • International licences up to 33 across 57 territories.
  • Worldwide Media (jv with the Times of India) secured licence to publish Hello! in India in May 2007.
  • Magazine websites and were improved and relaunched.
  • Countryfile magazine to be launched later in 2007.

Home Entertainment sales £186.9m (£208.9m); profit £24.4m (£27.7m)

  • 2 entertain (jv with Woolworths plc) consolidated its position as the leading UK-owned DVD / video publisher. Unit sales of Planet Earth over 600k and Doctor Who over 1.9 million worldwide.
  • Losses in Children’s (previously a stand-alone business) continued and the business was moved into Home Entertainment where it can benefit from the combined management expertise in publishing and licensing.
  • Sales from merchandising licences grew to almost £9m (highest level for five years); Doctor Who was the fastest-growing licence in the UK children’s market in 2006.
  • Live Entertainment had its most profitable year, with successful shows on four continents;
  • Creation of two joint ventures with Ragdoll Ltd to manage Ragdoll’s existing properties and also develop new content such as In The Night Garden.
  • BBC Worldwide sold a majority stake in BBC Books to Random House. BBC Books continued to perform strongly as part of Random House’s Ebury Publishing business.
  • BBC Audiobooks’ lead title was Alan Bennett’s The History Boys.
  • Planet Earth and Coast were two of the UK’s best-selling Christmas books with sales of £232,000 and 122,000 units respectively.
  • Live Lounge CD licensed by BBCW to Sony BMG went double platinum, selling more than 730,000 units.


Digital Media sales £13.9m (£13.3m); profits £(3.9)m (£(1.6)m)

  • Digital Media concluded a series of video on demand (VOD), web distribution and mobile deals around the world. New VOD customers included Netflix in the US and Telstra Big Pond in Australia.
  • Investment went into key propositions and the commercial media player.
  • Digital Media is now responsible for the delivery of new websites or the re-launches of existing sites across all areas of BBC Worldwide.
  • Global content agreement announced with YouTube in March 2007; four million videos were viewed on the BBCW channel on YouTube in its first month of operation. (Revenues will be reported from 2007/08.)
  • New mobile clients included mobile operators including TU Media in Asia, Vodafone’s New Zealand network and the 3 network in Ireland.
  • BBC Motion Gallery, Worldwide’s TV clip sales business, announced a clip distribution deal with China’s state broadcaster, CCTV.

Strengthened management team
  • Garth Ancier appointed President, BBC Worldwide Americas, to build growth across all US operations in February 2007.
  • David Abraham appointed CEO of UKTV in April 2007.
  • Steve Macallister joins as MD, Global TV Sales, in July 2007.
  • Appointment of Non-executive Board Directors: Simon Clift, Global Chief Marketing Officer with Unilever, and Thomas Geitner, former Board Director of Vodafone.

Top Five Sellers for BBC Worldwide 2006/07

TV sales – top titles by revenue
Doctor Who series two
Planet Earth
Robin Hood 2006
Extras series two

DVD releases – top 5 by volume
(UK Charts online to week 13 of 2007)

Planet Earth
Clarkson: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Little Britain Live
Little Britain series three
Doctor Who series two

Magazines circulation (ABC figures Jul-Dec 2006)
Radio Times = 1,082,338
BBC Good Food = 350,391
BBC Gardener’s World = 236,207
BBC Top Gear = 190,032
BBC Good Homes = 127,024

Books – top 5 by volume (Nielsen Bookscan)
Planet Earth - Alastair Fothergill
Coast: The Journey Continues – Christopher Somerville
The Power of Art - Simon Schama
Strictly Come Dancing – Rupert Smith
The Feel-Good Cookbook – Ainsley Harriott

Audiobooks – top 5 by volume (Nielsen Bookscan)
The History Boys – Alan Bennett
Untold Stories – Alan Bennett
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid – Bill Bryson
Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery – Francis Durbridge
The Mighty Boosh

Audiobooks – top 5 by no. of downloads
The Mighty Boosh
A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenberger
Blackadder Goes Forth
The Adventure of English – Melvyn Bragg




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Date : 27.06.2007
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