BBC sales up 15%, due in part to ‘Teletubbies’

Worldwide sees $123 mil in profits, kid TV pushes sales

LONDON — BBC Worldwide topped £500 million ($750 million) in sales for the first time last year, up 15%.

The growth is in large part due to the continued success of the kids TV series “Teletubbies” and “Tweenies.”

An exact sales figure is not known — the BBC’s commercial division partially leaked its results prior to the release of the BBC’s annual report — but Worldwide appears on track to meet its goal of contributing $300 million in profit annually to the BBC by 2006.

Profit at $123 million

Profit for the year ending March 31 was $123 million, up marginally from $121.5 million the previous year, but the latter figure was inflated by the sale of the BBC’s shares in cable and satellite programmer Flextech.

In the year, Worldwide upped it investment in programming by 37% to $118.5 million.

Part of Worldwide’s brief is to help raise the $1.65 billion in savings the BBC is required to make by 2006, a government-imposed condition of the recent boost to pubcaster’s annual license fee.

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