Channel 4 hails record-breaking financial performance

Channel 4 has published its Annual Report 2021, revealing its strongest ever financial performance with corporate revenues topping £1bn for the first time in its history.

The broadcaster also made a record-breaking pre-tax surplus of £101m.

Streaming service, All 4, delivered 1.5 billion views and is on track to deliver two billion by 2025.

And Channel 4, which has its national HQ in Leeds, says it is now well placed to deliver £15m worth of investment in training and development across the UK over three years.

Alex Mahon, chief executive, said: “2021 was an outstanding year of creative excellence, exceptional digital growth and record-breaking financial performance that saw Channel 4 over-deliver on its remit and successfully continue its transformation into a digital-first public service broadcaster.

“These results demonstrate Channel 4’s business model delivers dynamic growth, revenue diversification and long-term sustainability.

“Financially, Channel 4 is in the most robust health it has ever been and our results have laid the foundations for ongoing investment, financial success and stability.”

The corporate revenue total saw growth of 25% year-on-year to £1.2bn. This is also a significant increase of 18% on 2019’s pre-pandemic revenues.

The pre-tax surplus of £101m broke 2020’s previous record figure of £74m, significantly increasing the organisation’s net cash reserves to £272m and net assets to £556m and providing Channel 4 with a platform for future strategic growth and long-term investment.

Nearly one-fifth (19%) of total corporation revenues came from digital advertising, an increase of 40% year on year.

Channel 4 spent £671m on content in 2021. This is the broadcaster’s third-highest content spend ever and an increase on 2020 (+29%, 2020: £522m) and pre-pandemic levels.

£492m was spent on originated content (+33%, 2020: £370m) in total. 55% of main channel content was made outside London, Channel 4’s highest level ever.

By the end of 2021, Channel 4 had around 400 roles based outside of London, across its bases in Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester, and this number is expected to grow further in 2022.

Chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said: “Our exceptional financial performance demonstrates Channel 4’s long-term sustainability. Through its Future4 strategy, it will play a major role in strengthening and levelling up the creative industries and creating new jobs and opportunities for young people across the UK.”