The Abcs

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October's ABC's made for alarming reading at the Associated and Express stables as the mid-market fell 5 per cent year-on-year.

The Daily Mail recording a fall for the fourth month in a row, down 2.7 per cent. The Mail on Sunday is also experiencing difficulty, with sales down 6 per cent year-on-year to 2,109,008.

The figures at Richard Desmond's HQ were even more unsightly. The Daily Express figure for October was 765,949 (compared to 878,637 in January 2004).

It was another excellent month for the quality sector, except for the Daily Telegraph, which has had to increase bulksto keep its circulation above 900,000. The Times, meanwhile, has crept above 700,000, although its year-on-year figures are likely to fall next month, after the first anniversary of it turning compact.

The biggest success story belonged to The Independent, which posted its highest sale for eight years at 267,037. This was in spite of the re-launch of the Guardian in its new format. In October - its first full month in the Berliner shape - the Guardian saw sales fall by 0.2% month-on-month to 403,297 (a year-on-year increase of 6.6%).

The Independent on Sunday posted a sale of 230,053, up 7.3% year-on-year, after switching to compact early in October. The Observer, shortly to change to a smaller format, was down by 0.3% on the year to 451,781.