BBC Studios has announced its 2017/2018 financial results for both distributor BBC Worldwide and production unit BBC Studios.

The two subsidiaries formed a single group called BBC Studios in April this year but their results are reported separately this time.

BBC Studios reported headline sales of £432.0m and EBITDA of £7.2m in its first year of trading, and BBC Worldwide showed an increase in EBITDA to £118.3m.
BBC Studios highlighted the commissions it has secured beyond the BBC since it has been free to pitch to rival broadcasters, including The Red List for Discovery, Fatberg Autopsy for Channel 4, Inside Hotel Chocolat for Channel 5 and Sex, Knives and Liposuction, Cherry Healey’s exploration of plastic surgery for UKTV. BBC Studios also pointed to its producing of three of the UK’s top five most-watched programmes of 2017, including One Love Manchester, Strictly Come Dancing and Blue Planet II, which was the most watched Natural History programme in 15 years. 

BBC Worldwide picked out the success for Blue Planet II: sold to 234 territories at year- end. There was a slight reduction in headline sales that BBC WW put down to factors such as the inter-group transfer of advertising sales, continuing decline in the DVD market and fewer US production hours on Dancing with the Stars. 

BBC WW highlighted indie returns of £148.6m (2016/17: £146.4m), up 1.5%, in addition to equity investment into Sid Gentle Films and Various Artists Ltd, along with an increased shareholding in Clerkenwell Films.

Tim Davie, CEO for BBC Studios, and formerly CEO, BBC Worldwide, during the financial year, said: “BBC Worldwide delivered a solid performance for 2017/2018 against a rapidly changing and an ever more competitive landscape. The results reflect strong delivery against our strategy; investing in premium British IP and an increased focus on customer management have led to another record year for content sales, while our productions, formats and branded services continue to extend their global footprint and find wider audiences.

“BBC Worldwide entered the merger with BBC Studios from a strong position. Joining our world- class distribution capability with the UK’s most awarded production company was the most natural step to keep us both fit for the future. I am confident about the prospects of the new BBC Studios and what we can achieve together.”

Mark Linsey, Chief Creative Officer for BBC Studios, and formerly Director, BBC Studios, during the 2017/2018 financial year, said: “It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of our hugely talented programme-makers and business teams that we have turned a profit in our first year of operating as a commercial entity. This year we received 200 nominations and over 80 awards for our content. Three of the top five British shows of 2017 were ours, proving that our programmes have made a huge impact on audiences. Not only that, we won new business from third-party broadcasters both here in the UK and around the world. We now look forward to consolidating and growing our success within the newly merged BBC Studios.”

Staff Reporter

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