BBC Worldwide profits up but mags down

BBC Worldwide’s profits have doubled in two years, but its magazines division has suffered a slight downturn in the period to March this year according to its annual report.

Sales at the corporation’s main commercial arm were up 11 per cent to £784.4 million across its seven core business divisions: global channels, global TV sales, content and production, magazines, home entertainment, children’s and digital media. Profits have increased by 62 per cent on last year to £89m in the period 2005-06.

But the magazines division slipped in the last year, with sales down 3 per cent to £163.7m while profit was down 12 per cent to £19.3m.

The publisher said last year’s profit figure for the magazines was high, due to the sale of Eve magazine to Haymarket for £6.5m. Meanwhile, the significant costs incurred from moving a number of titles to Origin Publishing in Bristol exaggerated the drop in profit this year.

The review does not take into account the subsequent sale of Origin Publishing and the non-BBC titles it publishes.

BBC Worldwide still retains a minority stake in Origin as part of staged exit.

The sale of these titles was due to the company’s decision to only publish titles that were linked to its TV programmes.

The corporation has since set up Bristol Magazines to produce titles that are not linked to specific programmes, including MindGames, BBC History and BBC Wildlife.

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