National ABCs - Standard survives and London Lite wins freebie battle

Sales of the Evening Standard dropped 11.7 per cent year on year in September to 289,254.

Such a drop would not normally be welcomed – but Standard executives have interpreted it as a victory following the launch of the two new London free newspapers: London Lite and thelondonpaper, at the beginning of September.

Editor Veronica Wadley said: “I am delighted our readers have remained loyal to the Standard. We are holding our core audience and we are reaching that vital affluent AB market that others find so difficult to reach. If you really want to know what's happening in the capital, you must get the Standard."

The Standard greeted the launch of the two frees  by raising its price from 40p to 50p and bringing the first edition time forward, to include more on-the-day news.

Associated Newspapers’ London Lite was launched on Wednesday, August 30, and was closely followed by News International’s thelondonpaper the following Monday.

According the September Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, thelondonpaper had an average free daily distribution of 327,120 and London Lite had a distribution of 359,389. While thelondonpaper is only handed out between 4.30pm and 6.30pm – London Lite has evidently benefited from having a lunch-time edition, as well as the evening one.

The Guardian recorded its first year-on-year decline in a year – up against strong figures from the Berliner launch a year ago. But although it was down 3.7 per cent year on year – a marketing bonanza including wall charts and a DVD pushed sales up 7.26 per cent month on month to 389,186.

The Independent recorded its best sales performance for a number of months – up 0.95 per cent month on month to 265,051.

Elsewhere in the generally declining market, the Independent on Sunday and Observer stand out as strong performers.
The IoS was up 15.27 per cent year on year to 234,121 – and The Observer was up 4.48 per cent to 458,002.

Full round-up:

National morning popular

Daily Mirror: 1,633,708, down 6.2 per cent

Daily Record: 428,426, down 7.43 per cent

Daily Star: 800,569, down 6.28per cent

The Sun: 3,216,918, down 2.52 per cent

National morning mid market

Daily Express: 818,942, down 1.5 per cent

The Daily Mail: 2,410,641, up 1.55 per cent

National morning quality

The Daily Telegraph: 901,930, down 0.26 per cent

Financial Times: 432,036, down 1.48 per cent

The Herald: 71,696, down 7.04 per cent

The Guardian: 389,186, down 3.71 per cent

The Independent: 265,051, up 0.95 per cent

The Scotsman: 60,097, down 10.34 per cent

The Times: 683,333, down 2.3 per cent

London evening

Evening Standard: 289,254, down 11.74 per cent

National sporting

Racing Post: 69,615, down 7.93 per cent

National Sunday popular

Daily Star Sunday: 404,209, down 1.56 per cent

News of the World: 3,512,927, down 6.81 per cent

Sunday Mail: 528,929, down 4.49 per cent

Sunday Mirror: 1,438,829, down 6.14 per cent

The People: 822,014, down 10.14 per cent

Sunday Sport: 107,926, down 28.64 per cent

National Sunday mid market

Sunday Express: 837,662, down 2.52 per cent

The Mail on Sunday: 2,346,236, up 0.06 per cent

National Sunday quality

Independent on Sunday: 234,121, up 15.27 per cent

The Observer: 458,002, up 4.48 per cent

Scotland on Sunday: 74,410, down 10.17 per cent

Sunday Herald: 54,631, down 6.66 per cent

The Sunday Telegraph: 676,400, down 1.86 per cent

The Sunday Times: 1,324,475, down 3.74 per cent

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