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January 18, 2018updated 19 Jan 2018 8:51am

Times overtakes Daily Telegraph headline print circulation for first time, ABC figures show

By Freddy Mayhew

The Times has a larger daily print circulation than the Telegraph (when bulk sales are included) for the first time, new monthly figures show.

The Times sold 446,204 copies in December last year, up on 393,310 at rival the Telegraph, according to ABC’s monthly newsbrands report.

The paper’s climb has been aided by a 14.5 per cent year-on-year drop in circulation at the Telegraph, which was also down 14 per cent on the previous month, and bulk sales of more than 93,000.

The Telegraph has ended bulk sales – those copies that end up in hotel lobbies and airport lounges and the like – previously passing off 67,000 copies. But the Times still sees value in selling copies to businesses who distribute in key locations, Press Gazette understands.

When the papers are compared strictly on the numbers of copies actively purchased (combining single copy and subscription sales) the Times circulation figure drops to 344,937 while the Telegraph comes in higher at 384,407.

Nick Hugh, chief executive of The Telegraph said: “Building on our position as the UK’s best selling quality newspaper, we are embarking on a new long term strategy to help secure a long and lasting future for original, trusted journalism.

“Our focus is on evolving the traditional publishing model to one that’s fit for the 21st century.

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“Central to this is building stronger and deeper relationships with our readers by encouraging at least 10m of them to register with us. In doing so we can deliver a more personalised and seamless multimedia experience across both print and the range of devices used by our readers.”

Only in November, the circulation figures for the two papers presented a very different picture, with the Times then at 440,481 and the Telegraph at 458,487.

Circulation figures at the Times remain hardly unchanged from the same period last year with a fluctuation of just 0.01 per cent. The paper is also up 1 per cent on the previous month.

Responding to today’s ABC figures, Chris Duncan, managing director of Times Newspapers, said: “The Times is justifiably proud to reach this milestone. We are equally proud of our double digit growth in digital subscriptions and more than 2.5m registered users.

“This is testament to our continued investment in agenda-setting journalism and our relentless focus on keeping readers well-informed during turbulent times.”

ABC circulation figures for UK national newspapers in November 2017:

Publication Dec-17 Year-on-year % change Dec-16 Month-on-month % change Bulks
The Sun 1,480,337 -8.14 1,611,464 -0.75 124,142
Metro (FREE) 1,471,663 -0.26 1,475,543 0.15
Daily Mail 1,394,385 -6.5 1,491,264 0.76 58,714
The Sun on Sunday 1,227,015 -11.28 1,383,048 -3.44 124,257
The Mail on Sunday 1,137,024 -11.46 1,284,121 -3.38 53,502
London Evening Standard (FREE) 867,325 2.29 847,936 -3.36
The Sunday Times 735,025 -7.22 792,210 -2.12 88,258
Daily Mirror 581,877 -18.84 716,923 -1.01
Sunday Mirror 493,069 -20.58 620,861 -2.46
The Times 446,204 0.01 446,164 1.3 93,480
The Daily Telegraph 393,310 -14.51 460,054 -14.22
Daily Star 391,509 -11.12 440,471 -2.52
Daily Express 364,933 -6.82 391,626 -0.15
Sunday Express 317,893 -5.18 335,271 0.46
The Sunday Telegraph 303,307 -15.58 359,287 -10.78
i 257,221 -2.59 264,067 -0.89 60,186
Daily Star – Sunday 239,853 -6.96 257,790 -0.02
Financial Times 191,436 -0.92 193,211 2.4 26,087
Sunday People 191,188 -20.13 239,364 -3.83
The Observer 175,401 -3.7 182,140 -0.27
The Guardian 151,625 -5.88 161,091 3.32
Sunday Mail 143,788 -16.65 172,513 -1.35
Daily Record 139,237 -13.28 160,557 0.49
Sunday Post 127,370 -10.84 142,863 0.08 538
City AM (FREE) 90,351 -0.62 90,911 -0.52

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