BBC Worldwide has published its Annual Review for 2011/12 showing an eight percent rise in headline profit to £155m (2010/11: £144m).
Profit before tax of £104m (2010/11: £92m excluding gains on disposals) is up 13% on a like for like basis. The company grew headline sales by 5% to £1,085m in the 12 months to 31 March 2012 (2010/11: £1,030m). These figures exclude the BBC Magazine titles sold and licensed in the year.
Sales & Distribution is BBC Worldwide’s largest profit centre, generating a headline profit of £72m on headlines sales of £293m this year. It is the largest distributor of finished TV programmes outside the US studios with a sales team present in 11 global offices serving 200 territories.
The continuation of a successful growth strategy, focusing on key client relationships, programme prioritisation, active catalogue management and digital, resulted in a fourth year of double-digit profit growth.
In Asia Pacific, revenue growth was particularly strong in Australia and New Zealand, where BBC renewed its first option deal with public service broadcaster ABC, and signed a number of digital licensing deals. The broadcaster also had an excellent year in China, helped by digital growth and pre-sales on Science programming.
This year, BBC’s top selling programme brands were all BBC commissions: Top Gear, Doctor Who, Frozen Planet, Torchwood, Spooks, Sherlock, Planet Earth and Natural World, each of which sold in over 100 markets.
Digital sales increased to 13% of net sales from 8% in 2010/11, driven by very strong growth in sales to subscription video-on-demand providers. Its games business released 11 games in the year, resulting in 3.5 million downloads, while TV programmes have been downloaded over 31 million times around the world to date.
BBC Worldwide has also seen considerable growth in apps and number of fans on Facebook: 25 million apps have been downloaded to date and fans of the company’s global brands grew to over 23 milliom. The company successfully launched a pilot of the Global BBC iPlayer in 16 markets across Western Europe, Canada and Australia.