The Sun and the London Evening Standard were the only two British national daily newspapers to increase their year-on-year sales in May, with the sector as a whole down 2.82 per cent.
The Sun was up 3.48 per cent year on year to a daily sales average of 3.14m, and managed to continue its successful 2008 in terms of sales despite increasing its cover price in London and the South East from 20p to 25p.
The Sun’s Managing Editor Graham Dudman said: “This is yet another fantastic set of circulation figures for The Sun where we are bucking the trend. Instead of managing decline we are increasing circulation and have done so for the fourth consecutive month. The Sun is the only daily newspaper to be up year on year, month on month and have a six monthly sale also up year on year.
“These figures are down to a great team effort of brilliant editorial, marketing and circulation. Our coverage of the Austrian cellar family was second to none and we had huge uplifts thanks to our superb coverage of the Premier League and Champions League football.”
The Evening Standard saw a 9.8 per cent lift on May 2007 to take it to an average of 300,330 sales a day. The paper gave away 115,210 copies as bulks in May, compared to 99,711 in April. The paper said its bulk increase was related to its promotional deal with London City Airport and a bid to attract “upmarket city business traveller” readers.
The other English red-tops saw sales declines in May: The Daily Mirror lost 4.55 per cent year on year, to a sales average of 1.48m, while the Daily Star suffered a 6.7 per cent dip to 726,097.
As its owner Sport Media Group predicted in a trading statement this morning, the recently relaunched Daily Sport saw a 10.54 per cent dip month on month to 85,043.
The Financial Times performed better than most with a small drop of 0.49 per cent and average sales of 450,55,8 and the Daily Mail almost reached positive figures with a loss of 0.12 per cent to an average of 2.29m sales a day, though almost 125,000 of that is made up of give-aways to airlines and hotels.
The Mail’s sale has been stable despite its 10p cover price rise to 50p in April. Its mid-market rival the Daily Express, still priced 40p, saw a 3.36 per cent drop to 740,219 on average, without any bulks.
The Guardian, with sales of 353,822, a drop of 4.82 per cent, joined The Times, with sales of 626,401, a drop of 1.63 per cent, in posting negative year-on-year figures for May, despite small month-on-month rises.
In Scotland, The Scotsman saw the biggest drop of any British daily, 9.34 per cent year on year, with average sales of 53,039, while in Glasgow, The Herald’s sales dropped by 6.51 per cent year on year to an average of 67,070. Trinity Mirror‘s Daily Record performed better with a slight drop of 0.99 per cent.