The Abcs

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The Easter holidays were obviously a factor in an unusual set of circulation figures in the quality newspaper market last month, with the Sunday titles enjoying better results than their daily counterparts.

The weekly titles were able to strike out the Easter Sunday sale from their monthly ABCs, whereas the dailies saw their circulations undermined as large numbers of people went away for an Easter break.

As a result, while the dailies posted disappointing figures (particularly The Times, which was down 2.3 per cent on the month and 4.5 per cent on the year), the Sundays fared better.

Much better in the cases of The Independent on Sunday (up a mighty 22.9 per cent year-on-year) and The Observer, which went back above 500,000 sales following a 6.3 per cent monthly and 11.1 per cent annual lift. Newstrade sales of the IoS are even more impressive (up 35 per cent year-on-year) and the paper's total ABC of 258,368 meant that it outsold its sister title for the first time since May 2003.

The Daily Telegraph heralded the under-performance of The Times and described its own sale of 900,078 as "buoyant", neglecting to mention that the buoyancy was partly provided by a rise in bulk and foreign copies to a total of more than 102,000.