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APN titles lead readership growth

News Release – Embargoed until midday Friday 15th February 2008

APN titles lead readership growth

APN’s flagship titles, The New Zealand Herald and the Herald on Sunday, are the fastest growing paid newspapers in the country verified by The Nielsen Company’s national readership survey for the 12 months to December 2007.

In a very positive readership result for the company, APN’s key newspaper and magazine titles outperformed their peers and the market. The strong gains for publishing also come at a time when APN Digital is recording record growth for the news site.

New Zealand’s largest newspaper, The New Zealand Herald, recorded a readership of 585,000, an increase of 17,000 or 3% on the same period last year.

The Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday editions have at least 31,000 more readers than any national Sunday newspaper and well over twice as many readers as its next largest metropolitan competitor.

Readership growth in Auckland (+4.7%) has been particularly strong and well ahead of population growth for the city (+2.8%), which means increased reach into New Zealand’s most important market.

Female readers have driven a large part of this increase with the Herald read by 20,000 more female readers (+ 7.5%) than during the same period a year ago. This growth has been particularly evident in the Herald’s newspaper inserted magazines that add value and extend the audience of the daily news offering. Viva (Wednesday) grew total readership by 30,000, Time Out (Thursday) by 37,000 and Canvas (Saturday) by 27,000 over the 12-month period.

The Weekend Herald remains the best-read newspaper in New Zealand with 624,000 readers – 64,000 more readers than any other weekend newspaper in New Zealand.

Sunday dominance:

The Herald on Sunday continues to show excellent growth, with readership of 345,000 – a year on year increase of 19,000 and the paper’s highest readership since launch.

The Herald on Sunday has extended its lead in the Auckland market by 21,000 readers and the Northern region by 30,000 readers. The Herald on Sunday has now also taken second place in national readership of Sunday newspapers.

The Aucklander remains Auckland’s best-read weekly-published title with a readership of 392,000 (AP10+) an increase on the previous two readership releases. Changes to The Aucklander’s distribution are expected to result in further growth during 2008.

Record audience levels for

APN’s news website, continues to go from strength to strength recording record monthly audience and traffic levels in January 2008. Compared to the same month last year unique browsers have increased by 46% to 2.09 million. Visitors to the site are also reading more each time they visit with page impressions increasing by 90% to 45.9 million for the month. Visitors to the website combined with the readership of the print publication continues to extend the Herald’s brand reach into the New Zealand market.

Regionals outperform:

APN’s Regional Dailies are well positioned in their markets with the three largest titles all showing stable or strong readership growth.

The Bay of Plenty Times had the highest growth with an increase of 23% to 59,000. Hawke’s Bay Today is up 3% to 65,000 and the Northern Advocate maintained readership at 34,000. Overall, APN’s average annual regional newspaper readership growth was 3% compared with a market average of 1%.

Magazines lead category:

New Zealand Magazines achieved a solid result with each title in the stable out performing its market. The Women’s Weekly continues to lead as New Zealand’s best read consumer title recording a readership of 891,000.

The Listener increased by 11,000 readers (3%) to 295,000 and leads the Current Affairs category. The magazine also reported an audited circulation of 65,559, more than double any rival in the category.

Creme recorded readership of 121,000 and its circulation grew a massive 18.3% to 17,174, the only teen title to show circulation growth in New Zealand.

The latest addition to the NZ Magazines stable, fashion title Simply You, is not yet measured for readership but recorded a strong circulation lift of 3.2% to 36,675 and is the only title in the fashion category to show growth.

Chief executive Martin Simons said. “This is an exciting release for APN with a strong performance across our portfolio. We are well placed to meet the challenges of 2008.”

Source Information:

The Nielsen Company, Nielsen Media Research, National Readership Survey – Average Issue Readership.
Newspapers – AP 15+
Communities & Magazines – AP 10+
Readership Periods: January 2007 – December 2007, January 2006 – December 2006, October 06 – September 07, July 2006 – June 2007.
Magazine Circulation: NZ Audit Bureau of Circulation: Net Sales July 07 - December 07
Nielsen//NetRatings Market Intelligence Total Traffic Jan 07 – Jan 08


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