Top Gear sales boost BBC profits

image captionTop Gear is one of the BBC's most successful exports

BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, has reported total sales worth £1bn for the last financial year.

Sales were up 7% on the previous 12 months, the company said, with brands including Top Gear and Doctor Who performing particularly well.

Profits rose 36.5% to £145.2m, excluding exceptional items, the company added.

More than half of sales were generated overseas, where BBC Worldwide sells BBC content and runs a network of channels.

Its channels, which include BBC America, registered a 34.2% rise in profits.

Sales of programmes abroad, including Top Gear, Doctor Who, and Planet Earth, saw a 26.4% rise in profits.

Domestically, DVD sales continued to grow but magazine sales were steady, BBC Worldwide said.

Lonely Planet, the travel guide brand bought in 2007, also returned to profit.

"BBC Worldwide continues to give consumers around the world more and more content from the BBC and other British production companies," said John Smith, BBC Worldwide's chief executive.

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