BBC Worldwide’s Annual Review for 2010/11 shows a big rise in profit – up 10.3 per cent to £160.2 million (2009/10: £145.2m). Profit before tax, including discontinued operations, of £201.2 million includes a gain from the exit from a channels investment sold to partner Discovery in November. The strong levels of growth have helped lift the overall return to the BBC by 8.6 per cent to £181.9 million (2009/10: £167.5m). Sales were £1.16bn.
The company grew headline sales by 7.8 per cent to £1157.7 million in the 12 months to 31 March 2011 (2009/10: £1074.2m). International sales increased by 9.6 per cent to 55.5 per cent of total headline sales as the business sharpens its focus on international markets.
Digital sales, predominantly online and mobile, increased to 8.1 per cent of net sales. BBC.com, BBC Worldwide’s flagship online property, has seen revenues increase by 113 per cent in the US. In the year ahead, the company will pilot the global BBC iPlayer, develop a bigger games portfolio and launch more mobile services and apps. To date, downloads of BBC Worldwide apps have exceeded 12 million, the Top Gear and Doctor Who pages on Facebook have over 11.8 million fans and an average 68 million visitors per month visit its websites.