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28/06/2006

BBC Worldwide profits double in two years

BBC Worldwide Ltd has published its Annual Review for 2005/06 and announced record profits of £89.4m for 2005/06, a year on year increase of 62%, and sales up by 11% to £784.4m.
The increase in overall profits was achieved by a combination of trading and efficiency improvements across the business and by selling, closing or turning around loss-making operations.
In 2003/04 the company produced a profit of £37m. In 2004/05 this rose 50% to £55m. This year it exceeds £89m – a 144% increase from two years ago and 62% up on last year. Across the business the return on sales was 10% in the year and the EBITDA margin was 22%. For the first time, over 50% of revenue came from overseas sales.
The underlying profit, excluding one-offs, disposals, restructuring and legal costs, is £92.1m, up from £53.3m in 2004/05, and an increase of 73% in the year. This figure has also doubled over two years.
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC. Following a strategic review and reorganisation, the company is now focused on profit and growth. It operates seven businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Magazines, Home Entertainment, Children's and Digital Media, plus the recently created Content & Production business.
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 range of media.
John Smith, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide, said: "It's been an outstanding year. Our turn-around and repositioning strategy has enabled us to exceed our targets, streamline the business and prepare for significant growth both in the UK and abroad.
"2006/07 will see us deepen our commitment to digital media with the proposed development of the commercial iPlayer and bbc.com, the digitising of the archive and more VoD deals. We will continue to invest in acquiring rights and maximizing returns across all media. We will also be rolling out new Channels and Content & Production strategies later this year."
Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC, commented: "We set BBC Worldwide an ambitious target to double profits over two years, and I'm delighted they've managed to exceed it. The ongoing work in focussing the business and increasing efficiency is drawing direct investment back into programmes and services for UK licence payers."
(GB)
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