ABC Figures: NatMags struggles as new publishers thrive

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.

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

year ahead.’



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

the market.’



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.



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