Broadsheets continue to reap benefit of compact sales

Compact versions of broadsheet newspapers continued to drive sales at the quality end of the market during August, while the red-top tabloids suffered another disappointing month.

The Independent, which launched its compact edition 11 months ago, experienced another strong year-on-year rise in sales of 20 per cent to 262,588 copies. The Times added 1.8 per cent to record a circulation of 648,091 copies.

In the red-top market, the Daily Mirror's circulation fell by 9 per cent to 1,821,206. The Sun fared slightly better but lost 5.3 per cent of its August 2003 sale, posting a circulation of 3,363,612 copies.

The pressure on The Daily Telegraph to launch its own compact edition eased a little, despite a 1.8 per cent drop in sales year on year. Its August circulation of 912,334 copies was up slightly on its July figure of 904,981 copies.

Mark Dixon, the marketing director at Telegraph Group, said: "Strong Olympics coverage, our fantasy football game and the launch of our annual short breaks promotion all helped boost sales."

The Guardian, which is planning to relaunch in a Berliner format in 2006, experienced a year-on-year sales slip of 4.4 per cent to 364,504.

Sales of the Daily Mail were down by 41,000 copies to 2,407,082, but its rival the Daily Express was hit harder, losing 45,000 in sales over the year to record a headline circulation of 960,710 copies.

The Sunday Mirror halted its sales decline with a 1 per cent increase.

Its circulation is now 1,659,072. The News of the World was down by 4.9 per cent to 3,746,579 copies.

- Spotlight, p14.

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