Construguia, the home improvement magazine targeted at Spanish-speaking builders, had a strong showing last year, and has increased its circulation by 70% to 170,000 copies. This is all the more impressive when one considers this growth in the context of a slumping economy that saw new home construction slow to a crawl.

2008 was not a great year for Construguia’s competing publication El Nuevo Constructor which was forced to close. Asked what role that magazine’s demise had in Construguia’s growth, Construguia’s Founder and Publisher Kevin Kilpatrick told Portada, “Our aggressive expansion was in motion prior ENC’s unfortunate announcement. I’m confident that we have picked up some business as a result of their shutting down. However, I attribute our rapid growth as a result of advertiser demand in the marketplace, both in the construction industry and outside. We’ve found real interest from smart advertisers that are seeking a Hispanic male targeted magazine that has meaningful circulation. The industry has also reacted favorably to our free distribution model in the nation’s second largest retailer.”

In 2009, Construguia will be distributed at the 400 highest indexing Hispanic locations for Home Depot and all of the Home Depot locations in the top 10 U.S. Hispanic markets.

The magazine has also been developing its online presence, launching Miconstruguia.com in October to establish an interactive relationship with its customer base. “We are in the in first phase of promotion of the site and we are only promoting it in the magazine and with SEO. You’ll soon see us out there aggressively promoting the site in Q2,” Kilpatrick says.

To say that Construguia had an excellent 2008 is not to say that they are immune to the economic downturn. Asked how the economic crisis has affected business, Kilpatrick said: “A great quote that I heard at your conference this fall is ‘Flat is the new up.’ In our first issue in 2009 our ad page count was flat which I consider a victory.”

Currently, the company plans to expand into new media and events, but is not ready to disclose further details.

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