NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Rodale Inc. achieved record results for the third consecutive year, it was announced by Steve Murphy, president and CEO. Ending December 31, 2004, worldwide revenue was up 13 percent over the same period in 2003 for the privately held company, which has also outperformed the U.S. book and magazine industries' growth percentages consistently for the past three calendar years. Solid CY'03 performance for Rodale businesses resulted in a considerable 2004 investment in International growth, which included a critical market entry with the launch of Men's Health China, expanded Online and Technology infrastructures, and the successful testing of such new titles as Women's Health. Moreover, in 2004, Rodale has amassed more best-selling books, starred reviews, editorial awards and accolades than at any point in its history. "Having set ambitious targets for 2004 while simultaneously addressing several areas of investment, our gains in 2004 are particularly gratifying," said Murphy. "Most importantly, however, this performance enables us to continue to pursue our strategy of expanding our core brands across new platforms while building for the future with new properties. Our goals for the coming year are every bit as aggressive as they have been in the past, particularly given our newfound customer reach internationally and our expanded online platforms. At the same time, we'll look to take our developing properties, such as Best Life, Organic Style and The Abs Diet, to new levels of success." With increased recognition for their breakthrough health and wellness reportage, Rodale magazine titles experienced strong overall performances worldwide, with Men's Health, Prevention and Runner's World each experiencing record-breaking years, and three new launches outside the U.S., including Men's Health China, Men's Health Croatia and Men's Health Ukraine. Rodale surpassed the top 20 U.S. magazine companies' performances in terms of ad pages and ad revenue, according to PIB's 2004 year-end analysis[i]. Moreover, with a rise of 15 percent in ad pages for the year, Rodale outpaced the industry average of only a 3.8 percent increase, and; in terms of ad revenue, Rodale's titles were up 28 percent vs. an 11 percent average industry increase. In the key category of Automotive, for example, Rodale titles reported gains of 38 percent in ad pages for the year, while the industry was up only 6 percent. In the increasingly important category of Toiletries and Cosmetics, Rodale's advertising revenue was up 33 percent versus a 9 percent average industry increase, while ad pages for the company in Food and Beverage rose 58 percent, compared to an industry average improvement of only 9 percent[ii]. Said Murphy, "Increasingly, affinity groups are becoming the new geography for everyone in the business of content creation and delivery. We're finding ourselves well suited to this market reality as Rodale has always been at its best when speaking to large numbers of people about their focused areas of interest. Today, our teams are very effectively bringing these interested parties to advertisers, and our growth in so many category-specific areas -- particularly those in Rodale's traditional areas of dominance, such as health and wellness -- certainly speaks to this progress." In Rodale Books' news, the company's worldwide retail and direct-to- consumer book-publishing operations rose nearly 18 percent in 2004 over 2003. With record sales at retail in 2004 and a record number of best-selling titles,* Rodale's continued momentum at trade was further demonstrated by Publishers Weekly's 2004 ranking of Rodale at No. 7 among all major publishers in its share of best-seller positions[iii]. Leading the charge were Rodale's South Beach Diet titles (The South Beach Diet, The South Beach Diet Cookbook and The South Beach Diet Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide). Having effectively been developed into a franchise property in 2004, the series reached more than 14 million copies in print and dominated national nonfiction best-seller charts once again. Pete Rose's My Prison Without Bars and the Imus Ranch Cookbook were among Rodale's other bestsellers, as was The Abs Diet (by Men's Health Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko), the hit that began as a brand extension and has now become a brand and a franchise in its own right. In Rodale's Direct- to-Consumer business, Prevention's The Sugar Solution, Prevention's Firm Up in 3 Weeks and the Complete Beauty Bible have all had strong sales this year. *(Please see attached for complete list of Rodale's 2004 best-selling titles.) "I'm proud to see our book teams delivering results like these year after year," said Murphy. "By consistently leveraging every marketing tool within the Rodale arsenal to help their titles realize their full potential, Rodale continues to be unique in its ability to deliver for agents and authors." Recent notable author and book signings for Rodale include: Marcus Mabry of Newsweek to author Twice As Good: The Souls of Condoleezza Rice, Bill Maher to pen New Rules, and NPR's Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, for Hidden Kitchens: Stories of Land, Kitchen and Community. Additional releases of mention: Kirstie Alley's How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life (2005), Denise Austin's Eat Carbs, Lose Weight (2005); Body-for-LIFE for Women by Pamela Peeke (2005) and Outside the Box, an autobiography by Lynn Sherr (2006). In other important news for the year, in January, Rodale International was established as a formal division with Gianni Crespi appointed to serve as President. The team, which has already upped revenue outside the U.S. by 13 percent (CY'04), was charged with developing and implementing a brand expansion strategy for Rodale's book- and magazine-publishing operations. In May, Rodale entered into an equal joint venture in the U.K. with The National Magazine Company (a Hearst subsidiary), forming NatMag Rodale Ltd. Rodale also entered China, the Ukraine and Croatia with local editions of Men's Health, and began talks with potential partners in several other key markets, which are expected to develop into formalized agreements in 2005. Markets in which Rodale was particularly strong in 2004 include Germany, the U.K. and South Africa. Also of note: * In November, Rodale formed the Integrated Marketing Solutions Group. Headed by Denise Favorule, Senior Vice President/Managing Director, this team delivers a broad range of integrated-marketing services to food and nutrition, fitness and health and organic living businesses. * In April 2004, Rodale's Custom Publishing division developed diane: The Curves Magazine(TM) for Curves International, the largest fitness franchise in the world and fastest-growing fitness franchise in America. The division also recently (March 2005) announced a deal to publish a new bi-monthly magazine, RVLiving, for Lazydays, the nation's largest RV retailer. * Rodale's thriving SIP and New Product Development teams, with a mandate to test products in real-time with speed to market, experienced a number of strong releases in 2004, including the successful development title Women's Health. The first two issues have been greeted with critical acclaim and strong reader response, with sell-through currently at more than 40 percent. Other notable pieces produced in this group include the Lance Armstrong Tour de France Special Issue and Men's Health Muscle, among many others. The following Rodale magazine ad revenue/ad page highlights are based on PIB statistics comparing January through December 2004 to the same period in 2003: * Men's Health scored its third-consecutive record-breaking year, bringing 1,109 ad pages into the book, which represented a 14 percent increase over its stellar 2003. In Automotive, the title's pages rose 42 percent -- nearly 100 pages more than 2003 -- giving them a gain of 35 percent and clear market-share leadership (22 percent). In 2004, Men's Health was named to Adweek's Hot List (and again in 2005 at No. 7), and made another appearance on Advertising Age's A-List for General Excellence, reaching No. 3. The title received important recognition from Capell's Circulation Report when given the nod as one of the industry's Best Newsstand Performers of the Last Decade and as Best Circulation Performer, 2004. Men's Health took home the National Magazine Award in the Personal Service Category as well. On the heels of the successes of the title, Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko was recently promoted to Senior Vice President; MaryAnn Bekkedahl, also upped to Senior Vice President, was appointed Global Brand Director; and Associate Publisher Jack Essig was promoted to Publisher. * Prevention experienced its biggest year in ad revenue ever, with growth in categories across the board and more than 200 new brands added to the magazine. The title had double-digit ad-page growth (16 percent) while ad revenue was up 24.6 percent over 2003. Prevention began 2004 with a complete redesign and a rate-base increase to 3.3 million, the highest in the history of the magazine. As the 12th largest magazine in the country, with 10.6 million readers each month, and a new, broader approach to health and wellness, the title was recognized with a spot on Advertising Age's A-List. Prevention.com also re-launched to reflect the magazine's redesign, displaying the range and depth of content available on the site and effectively creating easier navigation for its millions of customers. Rosemary Ellis, the title's Editorial Director, was recently promoted to Senior Vice President. * Runner's World, which launched a complete redesign in April, closed the most successful year in its history -- also its third-consecutive record-breaker. The title was up 43.2 percent in ad revenue and 14.4 percent in ad pages over 2003. Additionally, the magazine sold a record number of copies at newsstand in 2004, and was named as one of Capell's Best Audits of the Decade. Paid circulation rose for the 10th straight year; and, as of January 2005, Runner's World increased its rate base from 575,000 to 600,000, the ninth rate-base increase in 10 years, representing a jump of 80,000 in just two years. During the year, 65 new advertisers appeared in the pages of Runner's World, approximately 40 percent of which were non-endemic and included: AOL, Subway, Target and Toyota, to name a few. The title also appeared in the 10 Under 50 category on Adweek's Hot List in 2004. In 2005, the title hit No. 1 on that list and was named Creative Team of the Year. In January, following the notable achievements of the title, both Editor-in-Chief David Willey and Publisher Andy Hersam were promoted to Vice President. * By continually delivering the freshest styles, trends and tastes to its ever-expanding mainstream audience; Organic Style magazine has, in only four years, played an important role in helping redefine "organic" for American consciousness. In March, Organic Style increased its rate base to 750,000 and upped its frequency to 10 issues per year. Concurrently, the magazine delivered a 108 percent increase in ad revenue and a rise of 81 percent in ad pages over 2003. Among the 84 new accounts were such globally recognized brands as Apple, Sigrid Olsen, Altoids and Mazda. In 2004 the magazine also hit Adweek's Hot List (and appeared again in 2005 at No. 4 on the 10 Under 50 list). Additionally, the book is attracting such editorial talent as Bryan Miller, the noted New York Times restaurant critic; essayist Cynthia Kaplan; and Ann Marie Gardner, editor of The New York Times' The Sophisticated Traveler, among others. * With its Jan/Feb 2004 issue, Organic Gardening unveiled a new logo and cover design, along with broadened editorial coverage, focusing on ornamental as well as food gardening. The redesign brought top photographers such as Victor Schrager to the magazine for the first time. Following a rate-base reduction in line with a strategic move designed to improve overall profitability, Organic Gardening increased ad pages by 10 percent and reduced ad revenue by 19.4 percent. New advertisers included New York Life Insurance, Olay and Ford/Environmental Strategy, among others. * Best Life, the new men's service magazine targeting the upscale reader, officially launched as a bi-monthly in May and garnered 80 ad pages in just three issues in 2004. Best Life has broken new Rodale ground both editorially and in advertising: American Express Green Card, Givenchy Homme and Chanel/Allure Sport have all placed ads. With its emphasis on fine photography and literary journalism, the title has published such high-profile authors as Steve Martin, David Mamet and Pete Hamill. With a beginning rate base of 200,000 and a Jan/Feb 2005 increase to 300,000, Best Life is the second-fastest growing newsstand magazine in the U.S. following an 86 percent increase in paid circulation during the second half of 2004, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. * Bicycling, which was selected as a finalist in the General Excellence category at the National Magazine Awards under Editor-in-Chief Steve Madden, saw ad revenue rise 12 percent, while ad pages declined 9.6 percent from 2003. Chris Lambiase, former publisher and president of Smart Money, joined in October as Publisher of Rodale's Cycling Group, which includes Bicycling and Mountain Bike. Joao Correia joined the Cycling Group as Advertising Director in November, coming from Esquire. Mountain Bike, which published quarterly in 2004 and is not tracked by PIB, will publish six times in 2005. * Backpacker was up 9.4 percent in ad revenue and ad pages were up one percent in 2004 over the previous year. Publisher Eric Zinczenko and Executive Editor Jonathan Dorn redesigned the magazine in September and rolled out two regional editions (California and Northwest) during the fourth quarter, driving double-digit sales increases at newsstand. In January 2005, six fully launched regional editions (California, Northwest, Mountain West, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast) joined the national title. As of January 2005, Backpacker increased its rate base for the second straight year, from 300,000 to 310,000. ABOUT RODALE INC.: As one of the world's most trusted sources for health-and-wellness content, Rodale Inc. (http://www.rodale.com ) reaches more than 30 million people in 42 countries each month through its category-leading media properties and integrated marketing solutions. For more than 60 years, the privately held company has inspired and enabled people to improve their lives through its reporting of groundbreaking, science-based health-and-wellness information. Rodale's magazines, including the worldwide brands Men's Health, Runner's World and Prevention, as well as Backpacker, Best Life, Bicycling, Mountain Bike, Organic Gardening and Organic Style, regularly garner honors for editorial, design and circulation performance and, as a whole, consistently outperform industry averages in both ad-page and ad-revenue growth. Rodale is also the largest independent book publisher in America, with an expanding stable of international titles. Recent New York Times Bestsellers include the titles within The South Beach Diet and The Abs Diet franchises, as well as Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars and Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss. Special interest publications, including the company's newest title, Women's Health; a broad range of successful interactive media products, like www.absdiet.com; and integrated marketing solutions, such as the custom- publishing partnership with Curves International, are among the assets that round out Rodale's portfolio of innovative, mission-based brands and properties. [i] According to the Publishers Information Bureau Inc. Group Publisher's Report, January - December 2004/2003. [ii] PIB for Jan-Dec 2004 compared to Jan-Dec 2003 (all U.S. stats only). References to the Automotive category represent all vehicle brands, rental companies and automotive accessories; the Food and Beverage category excludes hard liquor; Toiletries and Cosmetics includes cosmetics and beauty (unisex and woman), personal hygiene and health (unisex and woman), hair products and accessories (unisex and woman) and toiletries, hygiene goods and skin care (man). [iii] According to Publishers Weekly Bestsellers by Corporation, representing share of 1,530 hardcover positions on Publishers Weekly Bestseller charts in 2004.
SOURCE Rodale Inc.