MAGAZINE ABCs: Publisher round-up of today's results

LONDON - A round-up of the July to December 2009 Magazine ABC results, pinpointing the triumphs and disappointments of the major consumer magazine publishers over the period.

Paul Keenan: chief executive of Bauer Media
Paul Keenan: chief executive of Bauer Media

Bauer Media

Total average circulation per issue: 3.9 million, up 31.3% period on period and down 5.2% year on year

Crack the champagne open for: Bauer Media's specialist titles performed well, with Classic Cars up 5.2% period on period and Golf World up 6.2%. The new editor at Heat is making an impression, with the magazine showing period-on-period growth of 3.1%, while Closer was up 1.7% period on period and More was up 1.1% period on period.

Best not to mention: Garden Answers and Garden News, down 13.0% and 11.5% period on period respectively, while Mother and Baby dropped a sharp 12.7% over the same period.

Paul Keenan, chief executive of Bauer Media, says: "These ABCs prove yet again that investing in editorial content to make magazines that are relevant, fresh and surprising is a winning strategy. In 2009, quality magazines guaranteed quality revenues. Advertisers will continue to see in 2010 that the magazine is a trusted, hugely relevant and effective channel through which they can communicate clearly and precisely with high-quality audiences. With Bauer Media, our advertising partners can amplify and extend that conversation through our radio, internet and mobile properties that extend and enrich our consumer relationships."

BBC Magazines

Total average circulation per issue: 3.1 million, up 8.1% period on period and down 1.3% year on year.

Crack the champagne open for: CBeebies Art and CBeebies Weekly were up 24.8% and 11.6% respectively period on period, while Girl Talk rose 12.5% over the past six months. The strongest adult title was Easy Cook, up 12.1% period on period, followed by BBC Homes & Antiques, which rose 11.4% over the same period.

Best not to mention: BBC Gardeners World, which fell 18.5% period on period, although BBC Magazines points out this result is "seasonally influenced". Meanwhile, kids turned away from CBeebies Animals, Doctor Who Adventures and In the Night Garden, down 16.4%, 21.6% and 16.0% period on period respectively.

Peter Phippen, managing director of BBC Magazines, says: "Overall, we are absolutely thrilled. On a like-for-like basis (excluding the annual ABCs) we are up 2.8% period on period and are exactly stable year on year. All our larger magazines have recorded stable circulations. Radio Times is up period on period and has regained its one million-plus circulation, and Top Gear is stable and is still way out in front in its market.

"Our Bristol magazines are also doing well, with Focus posting its fifth consecutive year-on-year increase and History posting its eight successive year-on-year increase. The pre-school portfolio is up about 10.0% period on period, and our new title Lonely Planet, which launched in December 2008 and has already won four awards, is up 10.7% period on period. We have followed the UK edition with Brazil and India editions, and there are five more to follow over the next six months."

Condé Nast

Total average circulation per issue: 1.6 million, up 6.5% period on period and down 2.1% year on year. 

Crack the champagne open for: Tatler, which has rounded off its 300th anniversary year with a period on period rise of 1.5%, and Vanity Fair, which rose 0.7% period on period to post a record-breaking ABC of 102,421.

Best not to mention: Easy Living fell 5.6% period on period, while Glamour dropped 2.1% over the same period, although its publisher points out its overseas newsstand sales are up 9.0% year on year.

Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Condé Nast, says: "It is great news that all our super glossy titles have seen circulation growth in the last six months. It is further evidence of the underlying strength of quality magazines, even in a nasty recession. I am particularly delighted that our new launch Wired has performed so well and is set to reach its circulation target of 50,000 in its first full year."

Hachette Filipacchi

Total average circulation per issue: 1.0 million, down 0.5% period on period and down 4.7% year on year.

Crack the champagne open for: Red magazine, which rose 3.6% period on period to 226,502  copies, and Psychologies, which returned to growth with a modest 0.2% period-on-period rise.

Best not to mention: Hachette's soap titles. All About Soap posted a period-on-period fall of 10.1% while Inside Soap dropped 2.5% over the past six months.

Kevin Hands, chairman of Hachette Filipacchi UK, says: "High-quality titles that are markedly different to the competition continue to deliver attractive audiences for advertisers and profitable businesses for publishers. Digitally, Hachette continues to reach a greater and more engaged audience than ever. Digital Spy remains the UK's number one entertainment news website, reaching 7.2 million unique users a month,'s number of visits has grown 25%, and has delivered its highest-ever audience to date at 330,000."


Haymarket Consumer Media

Total average circulation per issue: 671,080, up 72.5% period on period and down 6.0% year on year.

Crack the champagne open for: Gadget title Stuff, which rose 13.2% period on period, and football monthly Four Four Two, which leapt 9.7% over the last six months to post a circulation of 103,216. Meanwhile, Practical Motorhome profited from the "staycationning" trend, rising 4.8% year on year.

Best not to mention: Haymarket's car portfolio. Flagship title What Car? dropped 4.7% period on period, while Autocar dropped 5.3% over the last six months.

Kevin Costello, managing director of Haymarket Consumer Media, says: "Magazine buyers recognise quality, expertise and enthusiasm. The performance of Haymarket's specialist titles proves audiences really engage with well-made specialist magazines."


H Bauer

Total average circulation per issue: 3.5 million, up 7.9% period on period and down 4.8% year on year

Crack the champagne open for: Bella, which was up 3.7% year on year and 12.9% year on year, and Total TV Guide, which rose 2.8% period on period.

Best not to mention: The TV titles. TV Quick lost 14.8% of its circulation over the last six months, while TV Choice dropped 2.5% over the same period.

David Goodchild, managing director of H Bauer, says: "H Bauer has yet again delivered a strong set of results. TV Choice has strengthened its position as the biggest-selling magazine in the country, Take a Break remains unrivalled as the biggest selling women's weekly magazine, and Bella is once again the success story of the traditional women's weekly market.

"The recession has hit magazines as it has so many other industries, but this set of results shows that a focus on producing good products that engage the readers, and not value-based marketing promotions, is the main driver of performance and sustainability. This engagement is also the key to creating a strong environment for advertisers."

IPC Media

Total average circulation per issue: 7.0 million, up 18.1% period on period and down 6.4% year on year.

Crack the champagne open for: Essentials, up 9.7% period on period and 13.9% year on year, and Woman & Home, up 5.2% period on period and 4.3% year on year.

Best not to mention: TV titles Soaplife and TV Easy, which dropped 13.9% and 10.4% respectively over the last six months.

Evelyn Webster, chief executive of IPC, says: "These results once again demonstrate strong performances from a number of our key brands. We continue to invest in consumer insight and editorial innovation to deliver quality editorial for readers and a quality audience for advertisers. Meanwhile, our investment in digital continues to pay dividends, with brands as diverse as, and continuing to show excellent growth."


Total average circulation per issue: 3.2 million, up 6.1% period on period and up 1.3% year on year.

Crack the champagne open for: Men's magazine Esquire, which rose 12.2% period on period, Harper's Bazaar, up 0.9% period on period and 1.1% year on year, and Men's Health, which posted a sixteenth consecutive year on year increase.

Best not to mention: Prima Baby, down 5.0% over the last six months, and health and beauty title Zest, down 3.7% period on period.

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive of NatMag, says: "As per our last ABC period in August 2009, the National Magazine Company continues to show resilience and strength in what have been difficult trading conditions. Our portfolio is outperforming the tough magazine market, subscriptions have increased, advertisers continue to invest in our titles and we have grown market share in many sectors. It shows that our readers remain loyal and our brands continue to attract new audiences."


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