Red-top sales drop but qualities thrive

Red-top tabloids experienced the greatest sales declines during February, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations' latest newspaper sales figures.

The Sun's circulation fell by 3.9 per cent year on year to 3,145,433 copies and the Daily Mirror's dropped by 3.7 per cent to 1,656,655.

However, quality newspapers were more robust. The Daily Telegraph managed to keep its circulation above 900,000 despite a decline of 0.7 per cent to 901,123.

The Guardian's sale rose 4.4 per cent to 382,931 and it seems the title is still enjoying the sales boost provided by its Berliner relaunch. However, The Times' circulation fell 1.4 per cent to 669,691.

The Guardian's stablemate, The Observer, continued its strong performance with a 9 per cent increase to 484,357. Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of Guardian Newspapers, said that The Observer had achieved its sales success "based entirely on its editorial strength - demonstrating its appeal to readers". The Fin-ancial Times' revival seemed to continue, with a 5.1 per cent sales increase to 440,837.

In the mid-market, the Daily Mail rose 0.5 per cent to 2,439,142 copies, while the Daily Express fell 12.7 per cent to 827,905.