BBC Worldwide reports record profits

BBC commercial arm BBC Worldwide says it has delivered “record profits” for the 12 months to March 31. It says pretax profits are up 24% to £111.1m and that it will focus on digital acquisitions over the next year. Sales rose to £810.4m from £785.1m.

BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith says the wholly owned BBC division has achieved a three-fold increase in profits over the last three years.

He says: “We have exceeded expectations in most of our businesses over the past 12 months, reflecting healthy returns from our new channels business, strong TV catalogue sales and growing demand internationally for BBC formats.”

BBC Worldwide has 28 channels in more than 259 million homes around the world, broadcasting in 15 different languages. It operates six businesses: global channels, global TV sales, content and production, magazines, home entertainment and digital media.

Earlier this year Smith revealed BBC Worldwide would focus on profit and growth following a strategic review and reorganisation.

This week Smith waived his incentive bonus, as did other BBC executives including director general Mark Thompson, despite being part of the commercial wing of the corporation.

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