ABC FIGURES: Consumer magazines beat economic gloom

Consumer magazines enjoyed a healthy circulation growth of 3.2 per cent during the second six months of 2002.

Sectors leading the way included women's weeklies (driven by sales of celebrity titles), men's magazines and women's monthlies. The teen magazine sector recorded an increase of 31 per cent. Other sectors that showed strong growth included weddings and brides, performance cars and photography.

The Periodical Publishers' Association marketing director, Phil Cutts, said: "Overall, the magazine market has again displayed growth and this is being translated into increases in advertising share - up from 6.1 per cent to 6.8 per cent over the past two years."

BBC Magazines, IPC Media, Emap Consumer Magazines and Conde Nast all recorded period-on-period and year-on-year sales increases. IPC, the UK's largest magazine publisher, led the way with a 10.2 per cent period-on-period increase in sales and a 0.2 per cent year-on-year growth.

The National Magazine Company, which recently had ABC certificates for the first six months of 2002 reissued, suffered a slight decline in sales for the second half of 2002. The fall was mainly because of a circulation drop for its Cosmopolitan, Cosmo Girl and Your Home titles, but it still posted a year-on-year sales increase of 5.5 per cent.

Hachette Filipacchi, newly created from Attic Futura, saw a decline in circulations across its titles of 1.3 per cent period on period, and 8.5 per cent year on year. However, it has not yet had a full sixth-month period of publishing titles such as Elle and Red.

Growth at IPC was driven by circulation increases at Now, Chat and InStyle.

Linda Glenower, the managing director of IPC Connect, the division that publishes Now and Chat, said: "Our excellent sales performance is the result of the brilliant teamwork, drive and commitment found within the entire portfolio. IPC Connect is the clear market leader in the vibrant women's weeklies sector."

Emap, which made the decision to include only actively purchased figures after problems over bulk figures last year, recorded high sales at Heat, FHM and Yours. Paul Keenan, the chief executive of Emap Consumer Media, said: "Emap's ambition is to be the fastest growing magazine publisher in the UK and this outstanding set of ABC figures underlines the fact that we are heading towards that ambition."

BBC Magazines saw a 5.4 per cent increase in sales across the period and 2.2 per cent rise compared with last year, with higher sales for Good Food, Eve and the new launch It's Hot. Conde Nast's Glamour, GQ and World of Interiors helped it to a growth of 7.5 per cent for the period, and 8.5 per cent year on year. Nicholas Coleridge, Conde Nast's managing director, said: "This is a strong set of ABCs. All our magazines are firing on all cylinders. We have several record numbers in the mix, and Glamour continues to defy gravity."