The Sun pulled back circulation after a substantial fall in February, rising 1.3% to 2,614,725 copies. In similar circumstances the Daily Mail added 0.4% to 1,952,524 copies.
However, their rivals were hit by back-to-back monthly falls. The Daily Mirror dropped 1.7% in March to 1,083,938 copies after a 1.8% fall in February and the Daily Express fell 3.3% in March to 558,513 copies after a 1.6% fall in February.
In the "national morning quality" category the main movers were The Independent, down 4.3%, and its cut-price stablemate i, up 3.5%.
Their opposing directions of travel are exacerbated by Independent Print's strategy of gradually transferring bulks – free copies typically used for sampling titles – from one to the other.
Between March last year and March this year bulks on The Independent have been reduced from 73,810 to 29,630 while bulks on i have been pumped up from 7,770 to 62,510.
The Independent's headline circulation (including paid-for and bulk copies) is down 44.7% in the same period from 181,934 to 100,672.
The i, which Independent Print has backed with advertising campaigns, is up 59.7% from 171,415 to 273,793, its highest level to date.
The overall daily newspaper market is down 7.4% over the same period to 9,086,036 copies, with a 0.1% rise on February.
|National newspaper ABC figures: Daily Titles|
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