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BBC Worldwide scores record profits

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BBC Worldwide has reported record profits of £111.1 million, a rise of 24% on last year.

In its annual results, BBC Worldwide showed an investment of £96.3 million in commissioning BBC programmes this year, up from £89 million last year.

Global TV sales, which include shows like Doctor Who and Planet Earth, went from profits of £33.7 million to £40.2 million over the year, creating £216.4 million in revenue. Planet Earth grossed more than £22 million on sales to 95 countries and territories.

Profits from global channels, which include the UKTV joint ventures with Virgin Media Television, rose from £6.9 million to £20.9 million, with revenues up from £166.1 million to £169 million.

Its magazine unit did less well with relatively flat profit of £20 million and £171.3 million revenue, with its digital media sales division managing £13.9 million but with a £3.9 million loss, up from £1.6 million last year. The BBC said the reason for the loss was investment into new business proposals such as its commercial new media player, due to be launched soon.

Overall, the BBC commercial arm's profits have seen a three-fold increase in the last three years. This will no doubt please the corporation which received a lower than expected licence fee settlement earlier this year.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said: "BBC Worldwide continues to deliver excellent returns for licence payers from the content they help fund us to make. Its success is increasingly critical to our ability to invest in original creative programming for audiences in the UK, and the company is playing major part in taking those programmes out to the rest of the world."

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