Emap seeks solace in weeklies

Emap's men's and motor titles are taking their share of the blame as the company forecast that revenue is likely to be down in the first half of this year.

In a trading update at the company's AGM, outgoing chairman Adam Broadbent said the magazines division would retain its competitive position.

He added: "There has been good growth in circulation from most weekly titles, but we are seeing an increase in the rate of decline in other titles, particularly men's and automotive."

The Emap consumer division includes market-leading monthly FHM and Arena, which launches its website and blog next week in what is claimed to be a consumer magazine first.

Editor William Drew said that the trading forecast reflected the pressure on all titles in the market.

He added that the blog, which will attempt to increase reader interaction and brand awareness, was "not addressing a problem, but utilising an opportunity".

Drew said: "There is pressure on all magazines in the current climate, but those with significant points of difference, those that can emphasise their individuality and have a strong character, are more likely to thrive, and obviously I think Arena is one of those."

On the forthcoming ABCs, Drew declined to speculate on figures, but said: "I'm confident that we will outperform the [men's] market as a whole."

In the last ABCs, Arena's circulation was up 11.2 per cent to 49,296, though it remained the lowest selling title in the men's lifestyle sector.

FHM sold 500,865 copies per issue, down 13.6 per cent in the same period.

Emap automotive titles such as Motor Cycle News, Car, Bike, Maxpower and Fleet News had mixed performances in the last ABCs, with some big falls.

Maxpower dropped 37.9 per cent year on year to 118,660, and Car fell to 94,033, down 8.9 per cent.

Broadbent, who has been replaced by deputy chairman Alun Cathcart, warned that conditions were likely to remain difficult, because of a "period of change and volatility" caused partly by technological change.

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