Red tops lose out in latest ABC findings

Sales of red-top newspaper titles continued to fall in October, but those at the quality end of the market performed better, according to the latest newspaper ABC figures.

The Daily Mirror's circulation dropped by 5 per cent to 1,600,452, while The Sun's fell by 3.6 per cent to 3,107,412.

Among the quality titles, the Financial Times performed best, posting a 4.9 per cent rise in circulation to 439,774. The Daily Telegraph's sales were flat on 900,043, while its competitor, The Times, experienced a sharp fall of 6.7 per cent to 656,278.

In the London freesheet market, News International's thelondonpaper overtook its Associated Newspapers rival London Lite, recording a circulation of 377,525 against the latter's 372,580.

The success of both titles has hit sales of the Evening Standard, whose figures were down by 14.4 per cent to 281,915.

Guy Zitter, the managing director of the Daily Mail and the commercial director of Associated Newspapers, said: "If you put 800,000 into the Evening Standard's marketplace, you wouldn't expect the paper to put on sales, would you? The Evening Standard has performed surprisingly well in the circumstances."

Among the Sunday titles, The Observer's circulation rose by 7.7 per cent to 486,471, while The Mail on Sunday's swelled to 2,405,901, a hike of 5 per cent. However, sales of The Sunday Times dipped by 8.4 per cent to 1,287,099.