UK

PERFORMING WELL

Our UK activities complement British audiences' enjoyment of well-loved BBC content, primarily through our joint-ownership of UKTV and our TV sales, consumer products and live events businesses. This year we announced a number of significant new partnerships and events and developed our digital offering through increased investment in digital initiatives, most significantly BBC Store.

 

UK SalesUK Profit

Overall the UK performed well. We reduced our dependency on physical and focused on key titles and brands. Headline sales were stable at £361.8m (2013/14: £362.2m), while headline profit was £52.7m (2013/14: £56.2m), with eight out of the ten business areas recording profit growth.

We secured a number of second window deals for BBC content, beginning a new partnership with Amazon Prime and continuing our relationship with Netflix. UKTV, the award-winning media company, of which BBC Worldwide owns 50% along with Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc., celebrated its 22nd year with another excellent performance, growing its share of the commercial TV market to an all-time high, up from 8.2% to 9.0% in 2014, achieving critical acclaim and ratings success for original commissions and launching new digital service UKTV Play.

BBC Store, a new digital service which will allow consumers in the UK to buy and keep BBC programmes, will launch autumn 2015 with up to 10,000 hours of content including new programmes, titles from our catalogue and previously unavailable gems from the BBC's archive. Revenue from our established ecommerce business BBC Shop was up 15.4% to £4.6m.

In DVD from January 2014 to December 2014, we finished ahead of all other UK TV studios, with 11 titles in the top 50 best-selling TV titles of the year. Top Gear - The Perfect Road Trip 2 took the top spot, a second year running for the brand, achieving more than double the sales of the nearest competitor; meanwhile Miranda Hart's My, What I Call, Live Show, was the second highest selling stand-up comedy title of the year.

We progressed two new live event ventures. CBeebies Land, a partnership with Merlin Entertainments, opened at Alton Towers in May. In August we launched the Top Gear Track Experience in partnership with Brandscape Group, based at the Top Gear track in Dunsfold. We also signed an agreement with London Paramount Entertainment Resort, working towards the inclusion of a range of BBC brands in a major new entertainment park in Kent.

We secured some exciting new licensing deals for core BBC brands including a Doctor Who partnership with LEGO®. Master toy licensee Golden Bear produced our new Hey Duggee range for pre-school children and there have been 7.9m downloads of our Top Gear mobile games. The Games business returned a £1.4m increase in profit, despite a reduction in headline sales.

As BBC Good Food celebrated its 25th anniversary, bbcgoodfood.com increased its unique reach by 37.0% to 16.0m (2013/14: 11.7m) unique browsers. TopGear.com reached 6.8m unique browsers per month, an increase of 59.5% on last year.

Our Radio & Music business had a good year, with the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge album going platinum and BBC Radio 2 Sounds of the 80s and Dave Arch and the Strictly Come Dancing Band releases both going silver. Demon Music Group also had success with the box set release for Donna Summer. BBC Worldwide Learning, which licenses BBC content for educational purposes outside the UK, completed deals with the Ministries of Education in Singapore and France and continued to work with educational publishers from across the globe. BBC Motion Gallery successfully established our partnership with Getty Images, growing online sales by 13.7% to £1.2m.

Top Gear - The Perfect Road Trip 2 ©Rod Fountain 2014