DC Thomson sees sales drops across its mags and comics portfolio

THE stable of magazines and comics published by Dundee-based publishers, DC Thomson, has suffered across-the-board drops in its sales, according to figures published yesterday.

Say the ABCs, the average net circulations of the likes of People’s Friend and the Dandy all experienced sales falls between the end of December, last year, and the end of June this year.

This current set of magazine circulations is not as extensive as the one published six months ago, which included the likes of Scottish Field and Homes & Interiors Scotland.

The DC Thomson collection saw sales of The Beano average at 53,964 between December 31 and June 30, down 12.8 per cent on the previous six months, and sales of My Weekly average at 145,676, down 4.6 per cent.

Elsewhere, the figures for the publisher of The Press and Journal and Courier newspapers were: Dandy (20,403, down 23.6 per cent), Bratz (20,403, down 25.3 per cent), People’s Friend (313,711, down four per cent), Weekly News (56,688, down 6.2 per cent), Animals and You (23,045, down 19.3 per cent), Shout (76,568, down 6.5 per cent), and Children’s Entertainment Package – Boys (130,066, down 10.1 per cent) and Girls (92,572, down 13.4 per cent)

Better news for the company was that the Scots Magazine saw no change (at 34,691) while The BeanoMAX experienced a rise (42,565, up 2.6 per cent), as did Goodie Bag Mag (34,885, up nine per cent).

Elsewhere, Edinburgh-based The Skinny enjoyed a two per cent increase (up to 33,130), while sales of the Times Education Supplement Scotland were down 1.4 per cent, to 6277.

In terms of UK-wide consumer magazines, the industry’s trade body, the Periodical Publishers Association, was yesterday in upbeat mood, despite an overall sales drop of 1.9 per cent.

Said Jonathan Shephard, PPA chief executive: “It is no surprise, in a recessionary climate, that different sectors are performing in different ways.

“The industry continues to innovate, and there are signs of encouragement from better economic indicators.

“An overall percentage fall of less than two per cent testifies to the strong relationship that magazines continue to have with their readers.”

The PPA highlighted some notable sales risers:

MoneyWeek – up 15.3 per cent, year-on-year

The Economist – up 2.6 per cent, year-on-year

The Week – up 10.3 per cent, year-on-year

Private Eye – up 0.6 per cent, year-on-year

Empire – up 3.6 per cent, year-on-year

Total Film – up 0.6 per cent, year-on-year

BBC History – up 9.2 per cent, year-on-year

Top Gear – up 0.1 per cent, year-on-year

Look – up 2.6 per cent, year-on-year

More – up 17.3 per cent, year-on-year

Grazia – up 0.7 per cent, year-on-year

Vanity Fair – up 0.5 per cent, year-on-year

Reveal – up 14 per cent, year-on-year

Women’s Fitness – up 78.6 per cent, year-on-year

Health & Fitness – up 13.4 per cent, year-on-year

Men’s Fitness – up 3.6 per cent, year-on-year

Men’s Health – up 2.1 per cent, year-on-year

ShortList – up 6.1 per cent, year-on-year