BBC Worldwide revenues exceed £1 billion

Plus firm's UK licensing activities enjoy most successful year for a decade.
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BBC Worldwide has revealed its results for the 12 months to March 31st - with revenues exceeding £1 billion for the first time.

Within this, BBC Magazines, Children's & Licensing put in a solid performance, with sales up three per cent to £210.2 million and profit growing 71 per cent to £13.2 million.

BBCW Children's & Licensing - headed up by MD Neil Ross Russell - moved from the Home Entertainment division of the business last year.

Notably, BBC Worldwide's licensing activities in the UK enjoyed their most successful year for a decade - largely as a result of good merchandise sales for Doctor Who and In The Night Garden, the latter ending 2008 as the biggest licence in the UK toys and games market.

Children's & Licensing remains the number two licensor in the UK, after Disney.

The Global Brands business, meanwhile - which was set up in April 2008 to drive greater value from BBC Worldwide's international and multi-format brands - reported a strong year for Top Gear.

Despite this, revenue from Top Gear, Doctor Who and BBC Earth was down to £128.1 miilion, with profits from these three titles down to £40.1 million. This can largely be attributed to reduced sales of the successful Planet Earth DVD compared to 2007/08.

BBC Worldwide as a whole saw revenues rise by 9.5 per cent to £1,003.6 billion in the period. However, operating profits declined 12.8 per cent to £102.6 million from £117.7 million, as planned investment impacted the bottom line. The impact of exceptional charges took profit before interest and tax to £85.7 million (2007/08: £117.7m).


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