The monthly glossy recorded a 10.9 per cent increase in circulation compared with last year's ABC figures, selling some 114,000 more copies than its rival from The National Magazine Company.
Cosmopolitan, which announced earlier this month it would be testing out a travel-size edition, was knocked off the top spot by the handbag-size Glamour last year.
Glamour's publishing director, Simon Kippin, said: "We had hoped to be selling 350,000 after three years so to be hitting more than 500,000 is well above our target."
NatMags cut the price of its July issue of Cosmopolitan by £1 to £1.80 outside the South East to match that of Glamour. Before the discount, the magazine saw its ABC figure drop to 462,157, a fall of 1.7 per cent on the previous year.
Duncan Edwards, the managing director of NatMags, said: "My job is to worry about Cosmopolitan, not what's happening with Glamour. The current sale of 462,000 is 10,000 more than it was selling two years ago."
IPC's InStyle clocked the biggest rise in the sector, soaring nearly 20 per cent to a total ABC figure of 179,174. The 17.3 per cent rise followed initial slow growth after its launch two years ago.
At the other end of the scale, Emap's only monthly women's title, New Woman, has continued to struggle. It recorded the second-largest drop of 9.1 per cent behind Hachette Filipacchi's B.
Red and Elle (UK) encountered mixed fortunes since Emap lost the publishing rights and they were taken over by Hachette Filipacchi.
Verdict NatMags is sure to fight back in the format and price war. We haven't seen the end of the battle, but Glamour looks set to continue its reign at the top.
TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period on Year on
period % year
Glamour Conde Nast 576,832 7.30 10.90
Cosmopolitan NatMags 462,157 -0.20 -1.70
Good H/keeping NatMags 400,253 -1.70 3.70
Yours Emap 386,591 1.60 5.10
Marie Claire IPC 376,476 -5.90 -4.40
Company NatMags 330,617 0.10 5.90
Prima NatMags 330,045 1.50 -4.40
Woman & Home IPC 283,025 4.10 7.60
Candis Newhall 279,517 7.50 -1.30
New Woman Emap 275,648 -6.40 -9.10
Vogue Conde Nast 202,259 0.10 1.60
Elle (UK) Hachette 200,912 0.30 -3.30
Red Hachette 189,850 -1.10 3.60
She NatMags 185,558 1.40 2.20
Real H Bauer 180,680 12.10 5.00
InStyle UK IPC 179,174 2.20 17.30
B Hachette 165,431 -14.30 -14.60
Family Circle IPC 149,238 -11.40 -4.20
Essentials IPC 144,780 -12.40 -15.90
Eve BBC 131,157 8.30 10.10
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2003).