Mirror and Observer suffer sharp falls in tough November

LONDON - As Trinity Mirror prepares to reveal the outcome of its strategic review next week there was bad news for the Daily Mirror, as its sales dropped 3.18% in November, making it the biggest faller among the national dailies. In the Sunday market The Observer suffered an almost 8% fall.

The Mirror's sales were down to 1,549,573, 6% lower yearon year, as sister Scottish title the Daily Record also had a bad time of it in the November ABCs, falling 2.8% to 408,293.

Next week Sly Bailey, Trinity Mirror's chief executive, will reveal the outcome of a strategic review, which could see the break-up of the company into separate national and regional newspaper operations. That was one of the options made by the publisher's investment bank NM Rothschild in its four-month strategic review.

The Mirror's rival The Sun was down as well, but only by 1.1% to 3,072,828, while the Daily Star proved to be the best performer among the red tops dropping just 0.21% to 769,226.

In the mid market the second-worst performer last month was the Daily Mail, down 2.37% to 2,295,101 as its distant rival the Daily Express managed to marginally stem its falling sales, which were down 1.78% to 774,665.

In the quality market there were no big losers. The Financial Times suffered the biggest fall of 1.54% to 432,980.

The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian and suffered only slight falls of varying degrees down 0.13% to 901,238, 0.38% to 653,780 and 0.6% to 382,393 respectively.

The Independent suffered a steeper fall, but it was still only down 1.43% to 253,737.

In the Sunday market it was The Guardian's sister title, The Observer, which really suffered. It slid by 7.89% to 448,076. Centre-left rival the Independent on Sunday was close behind, losing 7.51% to 212,892.

The news was better for The Sunday Telegraph. It dropped by 1.83% to 656,392.

The only good news in the quality Sunday market was at The Sunday Times. It shrugged off concern about its £2 cover price by pushing sales up, albeit by a modest 0.12% to 1,288,584.

The popular Sunday titles faired little better, with Richard Desmond's The Daily Star Sunday sinking by 8.33% to 364,545, and rival titles the Sunday Mirror down 3.09% to 1,333,255, although the latter has retained second place in its sector. Sister Trinity Mirror title The People slid 3.12% to 764,409.

Murdoch's News of The World abated October's 1.92% fall, but was still down 0.87% to 3,415,372. However, the title retains its status as having the highest circulation of any UK Sunday newspaper.

In the mid market, The Mail on Sunday held the number one spot for its sector, but was down 0.71% to 2,388,885, with the Sunday Express down 4.24% to 758,443.

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