The established market players continue to battle with their
younger competitors in the consumer magazine world, giving overall
circulation figures for the six months to December 1999 that proved -
with a few exceptions - unremarkable.
Future Publishing, Paragon Publishing, Dennis Publishing and Attic
Futura all saw their overall sales grow year on year, with the first
three fuelled by growth in the computer and internet markets.
The National Magazine Company had a tough year, with six of its nine
monthly titles experiencing circulation declines. The good news,
however, is that Good Housekeeping reversed its decline, with an 8 per
cent increase in sales. Terry Mansfield, managing director of NatMags,
remained upbeat about the company’s results: ’This is a great set of
results and I’m looking forward to celebrating even more success in the
IPC Magazines, the largest magazine publisher, recorded 33 per cent
year-on-year increases in circulation and 35 per cent year-on-year drops
in its portfolio. The company’s TV magazine portfolio has suffered from
the launch of the rival, TV Choice, from H Bauer, although its direct
competitor, What’s On TV, fell 1.4 per cent year on year. IPC Connect is
still struggling to turn around sales on titles such as Woman’s Realm
and Woman’s Own.
IPC’s revamped Woman’s Journal experienced a sales jump of more than 20
per cent to 133,407. The new men’s lifestyle title, Later, registered an
ABC of 90,555, a solid launch figure, but its sister title, Loaded, was
down just under 19 per cent to 371,548 year on year.
Conde Nast saw half its titles gain sales year on year, and the other
half decline. Despite a tricky men’s market, GQ’s circulation jumped
just under 8 per cent year on year to 145,144, and Traveller reported a
healthy rise of 2.5 per cent to 61,578. Nicholas Coleridge, the managing
director of Conde Nast, said: ’We are feeling very bullish at Conde Nast
since the upmarket sector seems to be more resilient than the rest of
BBC Magazines suffered a 5 per cent fall in its overall sales, with
sales of the Radio Times, Top of the Pops magazine, Homes & Antiques and
Good Food contributing to that decline. Growth in its pre-school sector
helped bolster a lacklustre set of results.