However, mature women's weeklies fared less well, contributing to an overall year-on-year decline in the sector of 1.5 per cent
Northern & Shell's OK! climbed to the top of the celebrity weekly pile with a period-on-period increase of 18.2 per cent. However, just 422,023 copies of the magazine were actively purchased.
Emap's Heat achieved year-on-year growth of more than 100 per cent for the second period running. It added 123,000 sales over the past six months.
IPC's Now continued its steady growth with a 3.2 per cent period-on-period increase, its eighth in a row. Hello continued on a downward spiral, dropping 1.7 per cent period on period.
H Bauer's Take A Break continued to grow on the back of an aggressive cover-price policy, as did its That's Life title.
IPC's Woman and Woman's Weekly titles suffered slight declines, but the publisher said this was because of a deliberate policy of reducing bulk copies.
Chat continued to outperform the market with a 7.7 per cent period-on-period increase.
Bella, Bauer's third title in the market, had a tough time with a 5.2 per cent fall across the period.
The success of IPC's series of women's weekly specials, such as its Chat Passion Series, up 8 per cent to 189,854, and Woman's Own Lifestyle Series, up 85.9 per cent to 242,340, suggest that more brand spin-offs will appear over the next period.
VERDICT: The boom in sales of celebrity titles shows no sign of ending, backed by aggressive pricing and marketing support. Traditional women's weeklies are faring less well and will remain flat across the next period.
WOMEN'S WEEKLY MAGAZINES
TITLE PUBLISHER TOTAL ABC PERIOD ON YEAR ON
PERIOD % YEAR
Take a Break H Bauer 1,207,384 5.1 3.5
Woman IPC 631,451 -2.3 -4.4
That's Life H Bauer 590,162 1.0 3.6
OK! N&S 575,307 18.2 -11.7
Now IPC 570,279 3.2 10.0
Woman's Own IPC 518,861 0.1 -3.6
Hello Hello 517,883 -1.7 -38.5
Chat IPC 515,000 7.7 10.4
Woman's Weekly IPC 498,268 -1.2 -1.1
Heat Emap 478,924 34.8 103.4
Bella H Bauer 444,622 -5.2 -8.3
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2002).