Express Newspapers proprietor Richard Desmond has said that The Daily Star will overtake Daily Mirror ‘sooner rather than later’following a claimed £100m investment in new printers for his titles.
The move means Desmond’s Express Newspapers titles will be the latest, and the last, mainstream UK national newspapers to make the jump to full colour. As well as editorial benefits, full colour printing allows newspapers to charge a premium for colour adverts.
The new presses will be installed at Westferry Printers in London, which also prints the Financial Times in the UK and is wholly owned by Desmond after he bought out Telegraph Group last year.
According to the Daily Express, new presses are to be bought immediately which are capable of printing 90,000 newspapers an hour. A report in the paper states: “This means the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday will be produced on the fastest machinery in Britain.”
They will allow full colour throughout editions of up to 128 pages.
Desmond said: “I am delighted to announce this investment in our print products at a time when the rest of the industry is either stagnating or selling off titles.
“The Daily and Sunday Express will benefit massively from expanded editions, full colour for readers and advertisers, and later deadlines meaning even fuller coverage of breaking news. This move will allow us to accommodate the rising circulation of the Daily Star. We will overtake the Daily Mirror sooner rather than later.
“A few years ago I made a pledge that we would remain committed to our print products and would invest whatever it took to keep control of our printing in our own hands. This upgrade puts our group at the cutting edge of print technology, and gives us a vital edge on our rivals in these competitive times.”
A 20p cover price has helped the Daily Star increase its sales. In March sales of the Daily Mirror dropped 6.9 per cent to 1,234,967. Circulation of the Daily Stary rose 3 per cent to 803,859 in the same period.