The Sun set to return to full price as Mirror backs down

LONDON - The Sun has refused to confirm reports that it is to put its price up from 25p, following the decision of the Daily Mirror to return to its full cover price across the UK this week.

The Daily Mirror has put its price back up to 32p in a tacit admission that its price war with The Sun had failed.

The Trinity Mirror-owned tabloid's attempts to boost its circulation with a relaunch, which saw it drop its red-top look in favour of black and cut its price to 20p, has not been a success. The circulation of the newspaper is unofficially reported to have fallen below the 2m mark for the first time. It is thought to have been further damaged by its strident anti-war stance, which is unpopular with a majority of its readers.

The Sun had initially responded by cutting its price to 20p too, but it has since risen to 25p and could rise further.

In March, the monthly ABCs revealed that the Mirror's sales are down 3.32% year on year to 2,042,092 excluding bulks. The Sun's circulation, by contrast, increased by 2.2% year on year to 3,516,129.

By contrast, The Sun is reported to have added 100,000 copies since the war in Iraq began. Advertising revenue at News of the World and The Sun is also reported to have risen to record levels last week as the paper threw its weight behind the UK and America's Gulf War effort.

An outbreak of war often sees a rise in the number of newspapers sold. However, a survey at the beginning of the week showed that the Mirror was more out of sync with its readers' stance on the war than any other of the national newspapers, with 49% of its readers approving of the military attack on Iraq, 38% against it and another 13% unsure.

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