BBC Worldwide, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC, has released its annual review for 2009/2010, revealing operating profits up 36.5% to US$219.2 million, and US$228 million will be reinvested into the BBC to support the license fee.
The company saw sales rise by 7% to US$1.6 billion in the 12 months ending on March 31 2010, exceeding the US$1.5 billion mark for a second year. Six of BBC Worldwide’s seven operating divisions grew sales despite tough trading conditions.
On the licensing side, revenues from merchandising, which combine sales from BBC Children’s Books (in partnership with Penguin), the joint venture with Ragdoll Productions – which represents its preschool brands including In the Night Garden and Teletubbies – grew by 5.4% to US$29.5 million, but profits fell to US$450,000 because of higher contributor costs for merchandising, plus lower profits from Children’s publishing.
Sales and profits from BBC Worldwide’s international network of 41 branded TV channels rose by 16.4% and 34.2% respectively year on year. Moreover, a strengthening overseas format business has helped sales from Content & Production grow by 10.7% and profits by 4.8%.
The figures reflect a strong performance in spite of difficult conditions in many markets, attributed to BBC Worldwide’s strategy of diversifying its global media business and extending the international visibility of its brand.