Observer only Sunday to put on sales year on year

National daily newspapers are proving more resilient than their Sunday sister titles, according to the latest set of ABC figures covering the month of May.

The new figures reveal that, on an average day, 11.53 million national dailies were circulated in the UK, down 0.36 per cent on May 2007.

In the same period, total Sunday newspaper circulation fell by 4.08 per cent, down from 12.4 million to 11.95 million.

Ten national dailies posted circulation increases in May compared with the previous month, with seven titles showing month-on-month declines.

Trend reversed

But in the Sundays market, that trend was reversed – with 10 titles losing circulation in May and six gaining.

The Observer was the only national Sunday paper to post a year-on-year gain in circulation in May, up 0.53 per cent to 451,363.

There were also month-on-month gains for the Sunday Mail, Sunday Mirror, Sunday Post, Daily Star Sunday and Scotland on Sunday.

The People continued to show a double-digit annual circulation decline, down 11.4 per cent on last year. The Sunday Express and Sunday Herald also suffered heavy losses.

The Independent on Sunday is now less than 1,000 copies away from falling below the 200,000 circulation mark. Almost a fifth of this headline circulation figure in May came from bulk giveaways – a higher percentage than any other Sunday paper.

The Mail on Sunday also had a tough May. Despite a high-profile Paul McCartney album giveaway, the title’s circulation fell 2.41 per cent compared with April.

And there was equally bad news, in the short-term at least, for Associated’s daily title, the Daily Mail. The Daily Express appears to have benefited from its rival’s decision to up its cover price to 50p.

The Daily Mail saw its monthly circulation slip 1.39 per cent month on month in May, down to 2.29 million. The Express – which proudly trumpets on its front page that it is 10p cheaper than its rival – put on an extra 13,000 copies, up 1.79 per cent to 740,219, compared with April.

Looking at the broader year-on-year trend, The Daily Mail’s circulation is marginally down 0.12 per cent, while the Express has fallen 3.36 per cent in the past year.

The Sun was the only national daily to put on sales year on year. The Evening Standard in London also posted a 9.8 per cent annual rise in circulation, with around 38 per cent of its total circulation coming from bulks.

In the free market, London’s free morning business paper City AM recorded its highest ever distribution, up 1.38 per cent year on year to 101,758.

The City AM chief executive, Jens Torpe, said there had been an increased demand for the paper to be delivered directly to offices. He also said the title was proving popular in commuter areas outside of the City.

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