BBC Worldwide reported a 10.3 percent rise in headline profit to $255 million for 2010/11, its highest level ever, in its annual review. Total sales for BBC Worldwide were $1.4 billion.
The strong levels of growth boosted total return to the BBC by 8.6 percent to $290 million. In addition, BBC Worldwide was able to reduce its debt from $163 million to $83.2 million this year.
International sales increased by 9.6 percent to 55.5 percent of total headline sales. Revenues for BBC.com increased by 113 percent in the U.S.
Brands, Consumers & New Ventures, which manages brands, live events, licensed products and book publishing partnerships, reported headline sales from key brands across all businesses at $490 million, a rise of 12.6 percent from last year. Headline losses for the year rose slightly from $14.3 million to $16.4 million in 2010/11, which was attributed to a strong Australian dollar, a challenging travel guide market and strong competition in the children’s merchandise market.
BBC's Consumer Products division generated an increase in profits of 13.7 percent, due to a strong home video business. Sales increased slightly to $374 million, and 3.9 percent of the business’s revenue came from downloads, three times as much as last year.
Total digital sales across the company increased by 31.5 percent to $130 million, 8.1 percent of the company's net sales. BBC is expanding its digital investments, developing a global BBC iPlayer and establishing a games unit in Los Angeles and London to develop digital games linked to major brands across all major platforms.
“This was BBC Worldwide’s most successful year ever in championing great U.K. content around the globe," John Smith, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide. "By offering world-class British programming and brands that resonate with global audiences, we were able to lift revenues beyond a billion pounds for a third year in succession and also deliver impressive results.”