Record profits for BBC Worldwide

The BBC's commercial wing has reported record revenue and profits, leading to a rise of more than 8% in the amount being ploughed back into BBC programmes in the past year.

Figures published today in the BBC Worldwide annual review also show that the company's chief executive John Smith had a remuneration package totalling almost £900,000 for the last financial year.

Sales rose by 7.8% to £1.16 billion in the past financial year, the report showed. They were boosted by the success of brands such as Top Gear and Doctor Who which - along with Lonely Planet, BBC Earth and Dancing With The Stars, the international version of Strictly Come Dancing - account for more than a quarter of sales.

Headline profits were up 10.3% year on year to £160 million.

The success of the operation means £181.9 million - up 8.6% - went back to the BBC, which is Worldwide's sole shareholder.

Mr Smith's remuneration package - valued at £898,000 - included a £138,000 bonus.

Although there was a healthy rise in profits this year, they have slowed from the heights of the 36% increase reported a year ago.

Mr Smith said: "These results have enabled BBC Worldwide to return an increased amount back to the BBC - supporting development of world-class, original content in the context of a tighter financial settlement.

"This was BBC Worldwide's most successful year ever in championing great UK content around the globe."