Price wars show up in ABC results

The national newspaper ABC results for May have revealed mixed fortunes for those engaged in price-cutting during the month.

The Sun claimed victory in the red-top price war, putting on 107,378 copies during April for an increase of 3.2 per cent. The Mirror, which had initiated the 20p pricing pursued by both papers nationally during the month, saw an increase of 0.96 per cent or 20,225 copies.

The Mirror, which has cut out a large percentage of bulk sales and direct mailshots during the past 12 months, actually saw circulation drop slightly year on year for May. The paper returned its price to 32p outside of the Carlton region earlier this month.

The red-top that reaped the most reward from the least investment was the Daily Star, which had its price cut to 10p in the Carlton region from 23 March, but remained at 30p throughout the rest of the country. Despite the difference in price, the Daily Star still produced a 1.82 per cent increase over April to reach 680,040 - a year-on-year increase of almost 100,000 copies.

"We're very pleased outside of Carlton where we haven't seen any real effect from the Sun and Mirror's price-cutting, the Express Newspapers' marketing director, Roland Agambar, said.

The Daily Express' national circulation also showed the benefits of its price-cutting in the Carlton region, rising 3.49 per cent to 939,417.

The Daily Express' own figures for the Carlton region show circulation increasing from 179,000 on 6 April to 216,000 by 18 May, before slipping back to 210,000 when the price cuts for The Sun and The Mirror kicked in.

The Daily Mail, which maintained a price of 40p nationally during May, saw circulation drop 1.66 per cent during the month to 2,405,694, with a loss of about 10,000 year on year.

Among the broadsheets, The Independent showed little benefit from its redesign, with circulation increasing a mere 591 copies during the course of the month.

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