The Daily Star grew year-on-year sales of its daily, Saturday and Sunday editions in December, but retailers have lost more than £200,000 in margin since Northern & Shell halved the paper’s price last October.
The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations reveal a 5.2% rise in year-on-year sales of the Daily Star’s weekday edition, a 13.6% increase for its Saturday edition and an 11.4% rise for its Sunday edition.
The figures come after the paper also achieved year-on-year copy sales growth across all editions in November. This contrasts with the three months before the Daily Star’s 5 October price cut, where the daily, Saturday and Sunday editions all posted declines of between 8.1% and 14.2%.
But despite the copy sales increases, retailers’ profits from the Star continue to fall. Between October and December, the total margin earned by retailers was £251,400. This was down from £452,700 earned between July and September, a fall of £201,300.
“The increase in sales of the Daily Star indicates that price is a factor, but increased awareness has also driven these extra sales, because of the advertising campaign,” said Brian Murphy, head of news and magazines at the NFRN. “Now, the right thing to do is look at how to restore retailers’ margins and sustain the long-term growth of the category.”
Meanwhile, rival red top the Mirror suffered further sales falls during December, with year-on-year sales of its weekday, Saturday and Sunday editions down 11.7%, 13.3% and 14.7% respectively. The Sun’s sales were down 8.2%, 6.4% and 5.9% respectively.
The year-on-year decline in newspaper sales slowed in December, according to the ABC figures, although most weaker-selling issues between Christmas and New Year were excluded from the report. Sales of weekday papers in December fell by 6%, Saturday papers by 4.8% and Sunday papers by 7.4%, compared to 8.7%, 7.8% and 7.4% respectively in September.