The Abcs

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The Independent Online

The World Cup may have bolstered sales of Champagne in Italy but it has left circulation managers on British national newspapers butting the walls like Zidane.

ABC figures for June made unpleasant reading, particularly in the quality market, which has previously been more resistant than the red-top sector to the overall downward trend in newspaper sales.

Total UK Newstrade circulation (excluding bulk and foreign sales) across the qualities fell to 1,844,768 last month, way down from the 2,350,475 of a decade before.

The Times recorded a year-on-year decline for a sixth successive month and The Independent for a fourth. UK Newstrade sales of The Daily Telegraph slipped to a new low of 783,612.

The Guardian fared best in the sector, posting a 5.2 per cent annual increase, which was partly due to its sale being compared with an unusually low figure in June 2005, when circulation fell 7 per cent year-on-year ahead of its relaunch.

In the Sunday market, The Observer was up 6.7 per cent year-on-year, whilst The Sunday Telegraph was down 4.3 per cent. The only title in the red top or middle market heading in the right direction is the Mail on Sunday (up 2.8 per cent year-on-year). The People, which was selling in seven figures in February last year, has slipped to a sale of 821,116.