BBC Worldwide hit by Kangaroo and Woolies

BBC Worldwide has seen its operating profits fall 12.8% to £102.6m due to the failure of Project Kangaroo and 2entertain, the DVD distribution joint venture with the now defunct Woolworths Group.

Dr Who

The company had to write off investment of £9.1 million in the online video partnership venture Project Kangaroo while the collapse of Woolworth’s cost it £15 million.

BBC Worldwide is the commercial arm of the BBC and exploits properties such as Dr Who (pictured), Top Gear, In The Night Garden and Dancing On Ice.

In the 12 months to March 31 the company saw revenues rise 9.5% to £1.003.6bn from £916.3m.

BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith, says the figures reflect the £50m investment it has made in new initiatives last year, in spite of a severe downturn impacting all parts of the media and entertainment industry.

In other results, share of income generated from outside the UK rose from 48.6% to 51.3% of the total.

Meanwhile, revenues from online activity rose from 2.7% to 4.6%. It is aiming to reach the target of 10% by 2012.

Smith says: “Our strategy of diversification across business areas and territories, and our continuing investment in new opportunities, especially digital, reflects our confidence in the outlook for BBC Worldwide although trading conditions are likely to remain volatile for the rest of this year and into 2010.”

Discussions about a possible commercial tie-up between BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 continue. This is in spite the fact that the recently released Digital Britain report failed to put forward a plan to bring the two broadcasters together.

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