Sales of The Independent, which have soared since the launch of the compact edition last year, fell back to earth in March.
Latest ABC figures show a monthonmonth rise of only 0.6 per cent for The Independent on February. However, the Indy’s year-on-year rise, for the six months until the end of March, was still a healthy 10.9 per cent up on the same period in the previous year.
Sales of The Times, which followed The Independent with a tabloid edition, also looked to have peaked last month with a rise on February of just 0.4 per cent.
The Guardian, seen as the main paper losing out to the compacts, showed signs of recovery with a 1.7 per cent rise on February. The Daily Telegraph was also up on February, by 1.9 per cent, and the Financial Times by 2.2 per cent.
The biggest monthly gain for the quality Sundays came at The Sunday Times which hit sales just short of 1.4 million in March and was up 3.7 per cent on February. Scotland on Sunday, apart from the Business, remains the only quality Sunday showing a yearonyear increase.
In the mid-market, the Daily Express and Sunday Express were both down more than 2 per cent on February. The Daily Mail showed a slight dip of 0.4 per cent, while The Mail on Sunday was up 1.4 per cent.
The Daily Mirror was the only daily popular title to show a rise on February, with a gain of 0.3 per cent.
All the popular Sundays, apart from Sunday Sport, were down on February.
The pops must be hoping that the wall-to-wall coverage of the Posh and Becks saga that broke this month will give sales a much-needed boost.
By Jon Slattery