UK publishers take confidence from US ad revenues upturn

National newspapers are confident that this week's reported upsurges in US newspaper advertising revenue will translate into growth in UK ad revenues.

Publishers including Telegraph Group and The Sun's publisher, News Group, said that they have experienced a stronger first quarter in 2004 than in 2003.

This follows news this week from the US publishers Gannett, New York Times Co and Dow Jones, the owner of The Wall Street Journal, that their ad revenues had increased. New York Times Co reported a 1.5 per cent revenue increase and there was a 6.3 per cent increase in advertising volume at The Wall Street Journal.

The Advertising Association has predicted that UK newspapers will see a 2.9 per cent rise in ad revenues this year after a drop last year.

Chris White-Smith, the group sales director at Telegraph Group, said: "We've got reasons to be positive and have seen some areas of growth. Recruitment advertising is up and travel is fantastic."

White-Smith said that growth areas such as food and mobile phones were helping to improve revenues, but added: "Mainstream business is still quite tough. The corporate advertising market has not come back."

Tabloids did not struggle as much as broadsheets in 2003 because of the relative health of retail advertising compared with the corporate and financial sectors.

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