Irish News is sole daily to buck the sales decline

The regional mornings experienced a similar rate of decline to the generally more mass market evening titles.

The exception was the Belfast-based Irish News, which was the sole regional daily in the UK to put on sales — rising 1.6 per cent year-on-year to 49,046.

It is an achievement made more impressive by the fact that the paper faces new competition from Daily Ireland and the morning edition of The Belfast Telegraph on newsagents' shelves already crowded with national mornings from Ireland, Scotland and England.

Editor Noel Doran said: "We invested in a new press last year, which combined with a relaunch from Berliner to compact format, and we are very pleased with the way that has gone.

"People told us that The Irish News would suffer following the peace process, because our content was based on violence and the consequences of violence.

"We have had to more or less reinvent ourselves and develop new areas such as education, health, entertainment, business and sport.

"The fact that we are family-owned is an advantage as we have continuity of management and day-to-day you are dealing with the same people."

A year ago the Liverpool Post was riding high following an upmarket relaunch, with sales up 1.3 per cent year-on-year to 19,928. This time around it was the biggest faller, dipping 10.4 per cent to 17,858.

Editor Jane Wolstenholme, said: "It has been a difficult period for the industry, including the Liverpool Daily Post.

The challenge here has been particularly acute against last year's January to June ABCs, when our circulation was showing growth and we were reporting on sales-boosting events such as Liverpool FC winning the Champions League.

"That said, there have been many positive developments for us this year, including the launch of our dedicated business website thebusinessweek.co.uk — which has shown impressive audience growth since its launch.

"We have also recently completed some research which shows that the Daily Post is now read by nine out of 10 key decision makers in the city."

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