Lads' magazine sales go into ABC freefall

LONDON - The men's magazine sector has continued to deteriorate, with the next set of magazine ABCs expected to see Maxim, Loaded and FHM posting double-digit slumps in circulation in the second half of 2007, compared with the same period in 2006.

Maxim is expected to take a significant knock in the forthcoming ABC magazine figures, due to be released next month, with circulation slumping below 100,000 copies for the period between July and December 2007.

The last set of ABC reported -figures, in August 2007, showed that IPC’s Loaded’s circulation was 35% lower during the first half of 2007 -compared with the same period the previous year.

However, Maxim is expected to have suffered even more than its rivals when the latest ABCs are published next month.

Publishing sources predict Maxim’s circulation during the -second half of last year to have dipped from 107,687 to less than 90,000 copies, a double-digit decline -compared with the previous six months and a year-on-year slump of more than 30%.

Dennis Publishing chief executive James Tye said the key reason for a fall in Maxim’s ABC figure was that the February ABC figure will be the first ABC period where export sales are no longer part of Dennis Publishing’s figure.

He said: "Following the sale of the Maxim licence with the sale of Dennis US last summer, Dennis UK no longer exports copies of Maxim. In the last ABC period, export sales accounted for more than 16,000 copies sold, so this is a loss we are expecting in the new figure."

FHM and Loaded are also expected to report double-digit declines in their respective circulations compared with the same period in 2006.

One publishing source claimed: "There is not much between Loaded and Maxim. Arena, Loaded and Maxim are the biggest losers."

However, FHM and Loaded are expected to have managed to slow their rate of circulation declines over the last six months.

One publishing source claimed forecasts showed that “Maxim had clearly not bottomed out yet”.

In the weekly men’s market, Zoo and Nuts are expected to report a lower circulation in the second half of 2007 compared with the first half of the year, although Nuts is still expected to maintain the lead on its rival.

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