BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) reported a 9.9% increase in headline profit this year despite challenging market conditions, according to BBC Worldwide’s Annual Review for 2016/17.
With headline sales of £79.5m (0.5% up on 2015/16, £79.1m) and headline profit increased to £21.1m (9.9% up on 2015/16, £19.2m) after currency translation, the Australia and New Zealand territory contributed to the company’s overall global headline sales of £1,059.9m (3% up on 2015/16, £1,029.4m), headline profit of £157.3m (up 17.6% on 2015/16, £133.8m) and cash returns to the BBC of £210.5m.
BBC Worldwide ANZ commented the results can be attributed to strength in its channels portfolio and growth in its ancillary businesses:
Channels: In Australia, BBC First led the channel portfolio, with The Night Manager its strongest performing title to date, reinforcing its status as the home of premium British drama.
BBC UKTV reaped the benefits of a brand refresh in October 2016, which saw its audience share lift by 12.3% on the previous quarter.
Format sales: This last year has seen new and returning format success, with Stargazing Live commissioned for the first time on ABC with UK presenter Brian Cox, and Filthy Rich and Homeless recently broadcasting on SBS.
Returning format success includes Coast Australia broadcasting for a third series on the History Channel and series two of The Great Australian Bake Off on Lifestyle Food, achieving the channel’s highest ratings of all time. In content sales, major Australian deals included the sale of Planet Earth II to Nine and a joint life-of-series deal for Sherlock on Stan and Nine.
Productions: Top of the Lake: China Girl completed filming in Sydney and is set to be a major title for BBC Worldwide in the year ahead.
Live entertainment: BBC Worldwide ANZ had some sold out successes in live entertainment over the last year. Louis Theroux’s inaugural live show was enjoyed by 26,500 fans across 11 shows in five Australian cities and Steve Backshall returned to Australia with Deadly 60 which attracted 48,500 fans.
Licensing: This year also saw the emerging popularity of pre-school titles Hey Duggee and Go Jetters on ABC and BBC CBeebies, which had a positive effect for licensed consumer products, with major retailers stocking product lines and 35,000 units of Hey Duggee toys sold.
Jon Penn, managing director of BBC Worldwide ANZ, said: “Despite tough market challenges this year, the quality of our content and our channels has enabled BBC Worldwide ANZ to deliver a fourth year of profit growth. It’s our ambition to further develop our commercial business areas in the year ahead.”