ABC FIGURES: Home interest shows uneven performance

IPC's Ideal Home continued to top the home-interest sector, while Your Home and 25 Beautiful Homes made substantial gains. A further solid performance was seen by The National Magazine Company's House Beautiful, which retained second place.

House & Garden and NatMags' Country Living held steady. Duncan Edwards, the managing director of NatMags, said: "It is a magnificent product."

The garden sector continues to decline, the sector is down 2 per cent year on year . However, Emap's The Garden and IPC's Amateur Gardening bucked the trend, posting year-on-year rises of 8.7 and 5.2 per cent respectively.

However, nearly all the titles have improved their performance, with outstanding performances from Emap's Garden Answers (up 37 per cent) and Amateur Gardening (up 19.6 per cent).

The BBC's Gardeners' World continued to lead the sector, although the title suffered a year-on-year decline of 5.4 per cent. Marcus Arthur, the publishing director of the BBC, said: "We have sustained its strong performance while publishing a one-shot, BBC Easy Gardening. The new title was so successful that we are looking at ways we can exploit it next spring."

VERDICT: Although prone to seasonal variations, garden titles look set to continue declining year on year. However, there are signs that the home-interest sector will see some growth, especially across mid-market titles.

TITLE                PUBLISHER      TOTAL ABC     PERIOD ON      YEAR ON
                                                   PERIOD %         YEAR
Ideal Home           IPC              276,063          12.7          7.6
House Beautiful      NatMags          205,403           6.8          6.9
Country Living       NatMags          163,154           0.6          1.0
Homes & Antiques     BBC              160,635          -2.9         -5.7
Homes & Gardens      IPC              156,177           5.4         -2.4
Your Home            NatMags          150,062          -1.6          9.5
House & Garden       Conde Nast       148,470          -1.4          1.0
25 Beautiful Homes   IPC              133,808           6.4          9.0
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2002).

TITLE                     PUBLISHER   TOTAL ABC     PERIOD ON    YEAR ON
                                                     PERIOD %       YEAR
Gardeners' World          BBC           350,064          16.5       -5.4
The Garden                Emap          297,485           1.5        8.7
Garden Answers            Emap           98,142          37.0       -8.8
The English Garden (Gp)   Romsey         82,565           1.8      -13.9
Amateur Gardening         IPC            66,312          19.6        5.2
Garden News               Emap           58,929           3.6       -5.2
The English Garden (NA)   Romsey         41,625          -7.1      -20.0
The English Garden (UK)   Romsey         40,940          12.8       -6.7
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2002).


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