Licensed mags stay strong in latest ABCs

Egmont, Redan and BBC Magazines all showing growth in a tough market.
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The latest round of ABC figures have been released (January to June 2009), with print magazines in the licensed children’s sector continuing to hold up well.

In particular, Egmont and Redan both put in strong performances. Driven by the success of new launches – including Ben 10 – and the continued popularity of its Disney Group of titles, Egmont saw its market share jump to 22.3 per cent of the entire sector: a 3.6 per cent year-on-year increase and the largest increase across the market (Source: Smiths News Data & Seymour Assumptions, Publisher Share Data). Year to date figures show Egmont up 5.1 per cent in market share to 24.1 per cent.

Top performers in its portfolio included Ben 10 Magazine, with a debut ABC of 70,012; Power Rangers, which recorded a period-on-period increase of 17.36 per cent and a 6.05 per cent YOY increase, with readership currently at 52,004; and Toxic, which grew to 49,005 following a redesign back in April.

“Egmont Magazines understands how to convert popular licences into best selling magazines and we are especially delighted with the performance of the Disney Group, the debut ABC figure for the newly launched Ben 10 and the continued success of Toxic,” said Rob McMenemy, SVP and MD of Egmont UK.

Meanwhile, Redan Publishing saw its Fun to Learn Peppa Pig title take the number one spot in pre-school, with an average sale of 83,896 copies, and its flagship title, Fun to Learn Friends, come a close second with 81,287 copies.

Notably, Fun to Learn Peppa Pig saw a leap of 30.22 per cent POP, making it one of the most successful magazines across all sectors and one of the fastest growing children’s titles. Fun to Learn Favourites increased its position from ninth to eighth in the pre-school sector, reporting an ABC of 48,314. In addition, Sparkle World recorded a figure of 63,863.

“We are absolutely delighted that our titles have done so well in what is a very tough market,” publishing director Julie Jones told Licensing.biz. “We continue to invest in our magazines, offering the best value for money whilst maintaining the quality in both editorial and format. This, coupled with fantastic licences, is certainly a winning formula.”

Top Gear continued to be a star performer for BBC Magazines, with an ABC of 200,761 for January to June 09. Lonely Planet also recorded a debut figure of 40,702. However, the firm’s youth and children’s sector saw a few minor slips. In The Night Garden Magazine reported a figure of 80,334 (Jan-June 08: 103,664); Bob the Builder stood at 48,224 (Jan-June 08: 54,557); Cbeebies Weekly was 48,509 (Jan-June 08: 61,587); the weekly Dr Who Adventures was 56,986 (Jan-June 08: 93,741); and Top of the Pops reported a new figure of 119,739 (Jan-June 08: 130,174).

“It’s a tough climate for the children’s market overall, but our large portfolio of popular magazines is weathering the storm,” said Jaynie Bye, joint MD of Children’s magazines. “Some of our pre-school titles have seen a decline in their ABC, mainly due to the difficult market conditions. However, following extensive research with our consumers we know that parents value our brands hugely and are happy to buy them if they continue to represent good value for money.

“We’re confident that we’re well placed to come out of this difficult period with a portfolio of great quality children’s magazines: over the past few months we have re-launched nearly all titles and are already seeing sales increase as a result.”

A full report on the ABC results will be available on Licensing.biz next week.

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