BBC Worldwide chief exec John Smith has admitted that the company “under-egged” the proportion of revenues it could gain from the internet.

Quoted by Reuters, Smith said it was looking for new ways to capitalise on the BBC’s online audience, including acquisitions, social networking applications and the joint on-demand video venture it announced yesterday with Channel 4 and ITV.

He told a conference Q&A session that BBC Worldwide had revised its original view that it could gain 10% of its turnover from the web. 

“We think we will be able to beat it. It has gone from one percent to nearly four percent in just 18 months. So already we are starting to see that probably we have under-egged the extent to which we will see more of our revenues coming from the internet.”

BBC Worldwide’s sales for the year to the end of March came to £810.4m, and the company says it has 40m international users of its ad-supported bbc.com website

But Smith said it was looking to improve the online offering of travel group Lonely Planet, which it bought in October, as well as reworking its content into bbc.com and developing social networks around specific areas of consumer lifestyle.

He added that the group remained acquisitive:

“You have got to fill gaps through M&A activity and there are all sorts of gaps for us.”