BBC Worldwide hands £96m to Beeb

LONDON - BBC Worldwide handed over £96m to the BBC to be reinvested in programming, up 17% after a record rise in turnover.

Turnover in the 12 months to April was up 14% to £587m from £514m last time and profits before interest and taxation increased by 170% to a record £23m.

This year, BBC Worldwide outperformed in international television sales with new series such as the Anne Robinson-hosted The Weakest Link ranking as some of the corporation's biggest hits in the US for some years.

Yet again, children's programming was a major success accounting for £90m in sales, with new ventures being undertaken such as the Tweenies Live arena show.

Sales from global brands were up 22% to £118m and UK and international channel distribution increased by almost 20% to more than 365m homes.

Strong performances by other programmes such as Tweenies, Teletubbies, Bob the Builder and Delia Smith, as well as the growth in publishing, television channel distribution and television sales all contributed to this year's success.

The BBC outperformed the UK export market with figures from the British Television Distributors' Association showing that BBC Worldwide has outperformed its UK competition by a significant margin for the second year running. The UK market grew 5% year on year, while BBC Worldwide's sales grew by 21%.

Rupert Gavin, BBC Worldwide's chief executive, said, "There has been a real step change in our business this year. I am delighted that this has yielded a record cash contribution to the BBC for reinvestment in programming, and that BBC Worldwide continues to offer a global shop window for the BBC brand and British talent."

For the first time in a number of years, BBC Worldwide expanded its portfolio through acquisitions and established a number of new joint ventures, purchasing speaking-book publisher Cover to Cover and Gardens Illustrated magazine.

Global awareness of the BBC brand grew from 78% in 1999 to 85% in 2000. In the US market, awareness grew from 77% to 91%. Furthermore, BBC Worldwide received 79 industry awards over the course of the year -- another record achievement.


Jenny Cowdy recommends

BBC Worldwide

Read more