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
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
"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.