Express plummets below 1m sales

LONDON - Official ABC figures due for release later this week will show the Richard Desmond-owned Daily Express slipping below the one million mark.

The leaked figures obtained by Campaign indicate that the Express's circulation has fallen to 979,000, a slide of 6.8 per cent year on year and a 2.2 per cent decline from last month's figure of 1,000,388 However, the Express's rival the Daily Mail has posted a 5.3 per cent year-on-year increase to 2,479,000.

The Sunday Express also saw a significant drop, almost 10 per cent year on year, to 879,000, while rival The Mail on Sunday stretched its lead by 2.7 per cent to 2,386,000.

The Express group's losses follow a fierce campaign by the Daily Mail, based around Desmond's ownership of soft-porn titles. The Mail's year-on-year increase was also aided by the ABC's decision to use a lower circulation figure for last January.

Northern & Shell argued it had opted to drop much of the paper's bulk circulation from the audit, including 20,000 copies in Spain. 'Rosie Boycott has only recently departed and Chris Williams has been in the job for a week,' Stan Myerson, Express group's managing director, said.

NEWSPAPER CIRCULATIONS JANUARY 2001

                      Estimated  Confirmed      Increase/    % Increase/

                            ABC        ABC      decreased      decreased

                       Jan 2001   Jan 2000 (copies x1000) (copies x1000)

Daily Mail                2,479      2,354            125            5.3

Daily Express               979      1,051            -72           -6.8

The Times                   737        726             11            1.6

The Daily Telegraph       1,023      1,040            -17           -1.6

The Guardian                410        402              8            2.1

The Independent             229        222              7            3.3

The Sun                   3,626      3,557             69            2.0

The Mirror                2,151      2,271           -120           -5.3

Daily Star                  636        594             42            7.0

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