ABC FIGURES: Conde Nast rejoices in creditable ABC results

The spectacular launch of Glamour has propelled Conde Nast to the

star performance in the publishing class after years of consistently

steady ABC results. The magazine's arrival at number two in the women's

lifestyle division - and number one in terms of UK news-stand sales -

boosted the publisher to a 56.2 per cent year-on-year increase in its

total circulation.

Conde Nast saw solid supporting performances from Conde Nast Traveller,

with a 12 per cent year-on-year increase, Vanity Fair and Vogue, which

held steady against the arrival of InStyle.

"Glamour's first ABC is a sensation, instantly establishing it as a

first-division player in the women's sector," Conde Nast's managing

director, Nicholas Coleridge, said.

Glamour's launch made the women's lifestyle sector the one to watch,

with a 17.8 per cent rise in circulation year on year. However, the

wealth was far from evenly spread. IPC Southbank suffered a particularly

torrid set of results here, which must cause concern for the titles' new

owner, Time Inc.

IPC fared far better in the homes sector, where Ideal Home stretched its

advantage over The National Magazine Company's House Beautiful, and

among women's weeklies where there was a positive result for Woman as

well as Now. An encouraging performance from the sector in general

should not be overshadowed by the controversy over Hello! and OK!'s

figures, bulked up by one-penny promotions that crept in ahead of an ABC

rule change.

"The rule changes aren't retrospective," ABC's head of circulation,

Martyn Gates, said of the controversy, adding: "We don't move the

goalposts after someone does something."

Both Emap and NatMags could point to encouraging figures in the face of

increased competition. Emap Elan's FHM held steady in a declining men's

market while Elle lost nothing to InStyle and Heat continued its


Cosmopolitan and Esquire were robust in the NatMags stable.

The current affairs sector saw positive performances from The Economist,

The Spectator and New Scientist. Campaign's publisher, Haymarket,

boasted a 30.2 per cent year-on-year increase powered by the performance

of Classic FM and the F1 Racing, against which Tom Rubython launched F1

Magazine in March. It chose not to produce an ABC figure, instead opting

for a BPA audit.

The blackest mark on a generally optimistic set of figures came in the

shrivelling computer sector, where those publishers tied into the market

saw their toplines suffer. VNU opted to switch its ABC to an annual

certificate, avoiding the need to report its figures. Dennis dropped 8

per cent year on year, while troubled Future fell 18.7 per cent.

Attic Futura did little to recommend itself to possible buyers, with a

topline circulation decline of 9.6 per cent year on year.