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September 18, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:36am

August national press ABCs: FT takes hardest hit since last year as Observer and MoS fare best

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Financial Times saw both the biggest Covid-19 sales recovery among the UK’s national newspapers and the biggest year-on-year decline in August, according to the latest ABC figures.

Although the newspaper grew its average sales by 9% month-on-month to 94,395 in August while most titles stayed steady, this was a drop of 42% year-on-year.

The i newspaper paints a similar picture, growing by 5% month-on-month to 151,760 but falling by a third in a year.

Both papers are the only national newspapers audited by ABC that include large numbers of bulk copies, which are sold to venues, such as airport lounges, at a discounted rate.

These were likely impacted by the closure and drastically lower footfall at such venues during the pandemic, some of which began to recover in August.

Elsewhere the Metro added a further 36% copies back onto its distribution as a slow trend of people leaving their homes more and returning to the office continued, although it is still publishing 64% fewer copies than last year.

Most national newspapers saw year-on-year decline of about a fifth. The Observer and the Mail on Sunday did the best in this regard, falling by 10% and 11% respectively.

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The Times, Sun and Telegraph titles are no longer publicly audited by ABC.

The Telegraph instead publishes its subscription figures, which in August were 511,837: of these, 309,889 were digital and 201,948 were print.

Its net new subscriptions were 6,757.

National newsbrand circulations in August 2020 (ABC) with monthly and yearly changes:

Publication* ABC circulation for August 2020 Month-on-month % change Year-on-year % change Bulks
Daily Mail 994,081 -1% -15%
Mail on Sunday 872,375 -1% -11%
Evening Standard (FREE) 514,040 2% -37%
Metro (FREE) 504,226 36% -64%
Daily Mirror 388,718 0% -19%
Sunday Mirror 316,962 -1% -20%
Daily Express 251,736 0% -18%
Daily Star 237,266 0% -22%
Sunday Express 221,385 -1% -17%
i 151,760 5% -34% 8,215
Daily Star Sunday 141,011 -3% -22%
The Observer 139,851 0% -10%
Sunday People 125,216 0% -17%
The Guardian 109,533 -1% -15%
Financial Times 94,395 9% -42% 20,514
Sunday Mail 92,349 -1% -18%
Daily Record 91,556 1% -18%
Sunday Post 73,547 0% -22% 500


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