BBC Worldwide has today published its 2013/14 Annual Review, revealing a year of solid underlying growth, and increased returns to the BBC.
Headline profit increased 0.7% to £157.4m (2012/13: £156.3m), and was up 11.6% at constant currency. Headline profit margin increased from 14% to 15.1%, a record for the company. This was achieved on headline sales of £1,042.3m (2012/13: 1,115.8m), down 6.6%, or 5.2% at constant currency, principally reflecting portfolio changes: the sale of Lonely Planet and a new revenue share agreement for BBC.com. Adjusting for these, trading revenue was broadly flat, with growth from non-English language markets, sales to digital platforms and advertising helping to offset pressure on US and UK affiliate fees and declining DVD markets.
These results were delivered despite the strengthening of sterling in the year. Movements in foreign exchange rates had a £17.1m negative impact on the headline profit.
Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide, comments: “BBC Worldwide performed well, reflecting the quality of our content and enabling reinvestment into the UK television industry. Headline profit at constant currency, shareholder returns and returns to the indie sector all grew by double digits. This was achieved at the same time as a major re-shaping of the company along regional lines.”
Digital highlights for the report include the following:
- BBC.com reached an average of 78.9m unique users by year-end, including 4.7m to the non-news sections: Travel, Future, Autos and two new sections launched in the year, Culture and Capital.
- E-commerce also continued to do well with BBCShop.com in the UK delivering 30.4% growth.
- Approval was granted for the UK version of BBC Store, which will offer UK audiences access to around 10,000 hours of content to buy and keep at launch in 2015.