The major editorial challenges in the year necessitated tight cost control to ensure that BBC World Service
reacted appropriately to world events without undermining the sound management of our finances. I
am pleased to report that, after some difficult decisions on reprioritising spend, the continuation of the
additional output and transmission commenced in 2001/02 following the events of September 11th was
funded from within our existing funding base.We also responded with additional programming during
the early phase of the conflict in Iraq as the financial year drew to a close.
Within the framework of the Governments 2000 Spending Review, Grant-in-Aid increased by £13
million in 2002/03. This brought total Grant-in-Aid to £201 million, comprising £168.9 million for
operating expenditure, £5.1 million for a subscription to BBC Monitoring and £27.0 million for capital.
The surplus for the year of £6.8 million (note 1a) arises primarily from an excess of capital
Grant-in-Aid over depreciation and other capital charges.
A major focus for capital activity over the last three years has been the building of a new transmitter
site in Oman. This site came into service on time and within budget in autumn 2002, and is already
providing improved reception and coverage to large and important audiences in the Middle East, Central
Asia, Afghanistan and South Asia.
Looking forward, the Governments 2002 Spending Review announced last July provides an average
increase of 3.4% above RPI for each of the three years of the Spending Review period, commencing
in 2003/04. This will help to ensure that BBC World Service is effectively equipped to face the fierce
and growing competition in key media markets across the world.
Value for money
BBC World Service continued its ongoing programme of increasing value for money.We were able to
increase further, to 88.6%, the proportion of funding spent directly on content production and delivery,
with only 11.4% spent on support functions and overheads. We aim to increase this content percentage
to 91% by 2005/06, the final year of the 2002 Spending Review period. We were also able to achieve
efficiency savings of £2.6 million in the year.
We continue to search for opportunities to offset costs by raising additional income in a manner
consistent with the BBCs editorial and commercial guidelines. Despite tough market conditions around
the world, external income of £4.0 million was generated in the year.
We add further value to the core Grant-in-Aid through partnerships with radio stations and internet
service providers around the world, which rebroadcast our programmes and material at no cost to
BBC World Service. This enables us to further expand reach without additional distribution costs.
Subscription income from official customers (including BBC World Service Broadcasting) for the financial
year 2002/03 amounted to £21.2 million which, combined with income from other sources, produced
total revenue for BBC Monitoring of £24.3 million.
Chief Operating Officer and Director of Finance