Monday, July 05, 2010

BBC Worldwide says profits up 36.5% last year; magazine division holds its own

BBC Worldwide Ltd., the corporation's magazine and commercial division, has reported its operating profit for the year ending March up 36.5% to £145.2 million. According to a report in Press Gazette
Chief executive John Smith said: "Today’s figures, with profits up by 36.5 per cent, demonstrate that our strategy is working. As well as developing into a diversified global media business and extending the international visibility of the BBC brand, the company is delivering a strong financial performance.

"BBC Worldwide continues to give consumers around the world more and more content from the BBC and other British production companies. This allows us to re-invest in more great content and return more cash to our parent organisation, the BBC.”
Magazines are one of Worldwide's seven core businesses. The profit from magazines was £168.3m, and overall sales were down marginally (-1.3%) from the year before.  The full annual report is here (fair warning, it is 10mb).
  • The four biggest titles -- Radio Times, Good Food, Gardener's World and Top Gear -- maintained their positions and their profitability at 16.5%.
  • Overall circulation for adult magazines  rose slightly 2.4 million versus 2.37 million in 2009.
  • Subscriptions grew 9.6% to an all-time high of 940,000 (most BBC magazines are sold as single copies)
  • Children's magazines (a relatively small portion of the magazine business) slipped somewhat in profitability
  • Joint ventures recovered from a 2.1% loss last year to a very modest profit this year (0.6%). These include magazine distribution, subscription fulfillment and consumer shows in the UK and international partnerships in India and Australia.
"We are expecting a further increase in profitability for Magazines in 2010/11 as investments in the current year are realised and as the business sees a full-year benefit from the 2009 restructure. Magazines has exceptionally strong brands, delivers consistent value to advertisers and readers, and operates in market sectors which we expect to remain relatively resilient, in spite of longer-term concerns about the health of markets for printed products," said the annual report.

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