BBC Studios has published its results as part of a summary of its performance for the year 2022/23 with sales at £2,090 million, up 28% on the previous year.
BBCS says the increase was driven by growth in its global Content Studio, which fuelled BBC Studios’ catalogue, while “thriving brands like Bluey and Dancing with the Stars and strong long-term partnerships also contributed to the year’s performance.”
Profit (EBITDA) rose 6% to £240 million (2021/22: £226 million) despite pressures from inflation, a volatile advertising market and pressure on pay TV revenues. Having already doubled over the past five years to March 2022, BBC Studios is now aiming to double the size of the business again from 2021/22 to 2028.
Tom Fussell, CEO of BBC Studios, said: “I’m extremely proud of these results, which show the strength of our content driving our growth strategy. Our global Content Studio had an exceptional year, growing by nearly half and winning awards for creativity and craft across all genres, as well as covering significant national moments with distinction. Revenue held steady overall in our channels and streaming services internationally, despite ongoing external challenges posed by inflation and volatility in the advertising market, and we made further investment into production labels, BBC.com and UKTV to promote and sustain future growth.
“Looking ahead, we have bold ambitions to double the business by 2028, while investing for future growth and market volatility, which will impact short term profitability. At the same time, we are continually transforming our culture to prioritise inclusion, operate sustainably and put performance at the heart of everything we do.”
The global Content Studio – housing production, content sales, brands and licensing globally – saw sales up 40%, and EBITDA up £46 million. Over 75% of its revenues are now from third parties, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix.
BBC Studios won 111 awards from 440 nominations and it was the most awarded production group at the BAFTA and RTS Awards. Alongside the success of global children’s show Bluey, which helped to drive consumer products revenue up 10%, the business expanded brand tie-ups, including the collaboration between Minecraft Education and Frozen Planet II, and the launch of a BBC Earth Experience in London.
Sales for Channels & Streaming held steady at £535 million. “External challenges including inflation, a volatile advertising market and pressure on pay TV subscriptions affected profits, with EBITDA down 24%.” UKTV grew its commercial market share to a new record of 8.70%.
22 FAST channels are now available internationally offering 6,000 episodes of content on platforms including Samsung TV Plus and Roku, while BritBox international logged three million subscribers in eight markets. Now in its first full year within BBC Studios, the BBC.com news brand, reached 123 million a month, with upgrades to the website and app, and key new hires to boost the business in the US.
BBC Studios says it now aims to double the business from March 2021/22 to March 2028, having already doubled the business in the five years to March 2022.
During the last financial year, activity to underpin future growth included long term deals such as the new deal for Doctor Who with Disney+ as Russell T Davies returns with a new doctor in Ncuti Gatwa. A series of investments were made into indie talent across scripted and factual, and the business made further investment into UKTV’s free streaming service UKTV Play, which added one million registered users, and increased views by 27% in the year.
Returns to the BBC were at a record level of £362 million (21/22: £353 million), with content investment of £177 million.
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