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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
BBC Worldwide hails record profit
Strictly come Dancing presenters Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly
Strictly Come Dancing's format has been sold in 27 countries
BBC Worldwide has unveiled record pre-tax profits of 89.4m - up 62% on last year- after an "outstanding year".

The BBC's commercial arm put the rise down to surging sales, which increased 11% to 784.4m.

A cost-cutting drive and the sale or closure of loss-making operations also boosted earnings, it added.

Looking ahead the group said it planned to concentrate on improving its digital offering with new technology as well as rolling out new channels and content.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said he was delighted the unit had exceeded ambitious targets set two years ago to double profits.

Profits were 144% up on the 37m posted in the 2003/4 financial year.

"It's been an outstanding year," Worldwide chief executive John Smith said.

"Our turnaround and repositioning strategy has enabled us to exceed our targets... and prepare for significant growth."

However, while most parts of Worldwide delivered growth, digital media sales were flat at 33m, while magazine sales weakened.

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