The Telegraph newspaper is to reduce retailer margins in the long and short term through a series of price changes.

 From the beginning of February, the cost of weekday, Saturday and Sunday editions will be £2, £2.50 and £2.20 respectively, with no increase in margins until August.

This cuts retailer margins from 21.5% to 19.35% for dailies, from 22.5% to 19.8% for Saturday editions and from 22.75% to 20.68% on Sundays.

The changes will deprive the newstrade across the UK and Republic of Ireland of £114,640.24 each week.

Even in August, when retailer margins are recalculated, Saturday and Sunday edition margins will be cut from 22.5% and 22.75% margins for Saturday and Sunday papers to 21.5%.

A Telegraph spokesperson said: “We will maintain the current retail pence per copy margins until Saturday 3 August 2019, from which date we will increase margins.

 “With subscriptions accounting for the largest proportion of the Telegraph’s sales, aligning supply chain margins with our customers’ annual renewal cycle allows for continued investment in growing subscriptions and supporting retailers while remaining competitive against rising production costs.

“In partnership with the NFRN, the Telegraph will invest in the retail trade, including offering financial incentives for retailers to help generate subscriptions.”

NFRN national president Mike Mitchelson said he opposed the price increases: “This was a real bolt from the blue and is completely unacceptable.”

The Times also increased in price on Saturday, up 10p to £2, while its weekday editions will be £1.80, an increase of 20p. 

Terms are pro rata, which, News UK said, would deliver a further £4m to retailers over the year. 

Retail director Neil Spencer said: “The price rise maintains margins, meaning more cash in retailers’ tills.”