There were nine News Limited titles among the 10 best performing newspapers nationally, with the company’s Sunday and regional newspapers continuing their strong performance.
News Limited Sunday newspapers recorded growth overall of 0.7 per cent, or 18,000 copies. This contrasts with competitive Sunday titles which saw an overall sales decline of 1.7 per cent. Both the Sunday Herald Sun in Victoria and The Sunday Telegraph outsold their rivals by record numbers.
The Sunday Herald Sun increased sales year on year by 2.0 per cent. It now sells 613,000, extending the lead over its rival, The Sunday Age, to 416,000, and taking its market share to 76 per cent. The Sunday Telegraph – Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper - now sells a record 212,000, or 41 per cent, more than its rival, The Sun-Herald. Sales of The Sunday Telegraph remained steady year on year at 730,266 while The Sun-Herald, lost 12,225 copies, or 2.3 per cent, taking it down to 518,052.
News Limited’s regional newspapers continue their circulation success with the Saturday editions of The Cairns Post and The Townsville Bulletin growing sales by 2.4 per cent. The Cairns Post Monday to Friday and The Geelong Advertiser Monday to Saturday increased sales by 1.7 per cent.
The Australian increased its Monday to Friday sales by 1.0 per cent, or 1300 copies, year on year to 132,300 while sales of the Australian Financial Review fell by 3,028 copies to 84,972, or 3.4 per cent.
Sales of The Gold Coast Bulletin Monday to Friday remained stable while its sales on a Saturday dropped 2.4 per cent due to the downturn in the real estate market in south-east Queensland.
Monday to Friday sales of metropolitan newspapers remain flat for all publishers and the NSW market continues to be the hardest-hit. Circulation of The Daily Telegraph Monday to Friday fell 6.6 per cent to 381,996 in the 12 months and fell marginally on a Saturday by 0.3 per cent to 343,948.
However The Daily Telegraph continues to comprehensively outsell The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday to Friday now by over 171,000 copies a day and has closed the gap on a Saturday to just over 16,000 whereas 12 months ago the gap was over 30,000. Sales of The Sydney Morning Herald Monday to Friday are down to 210,600, a fall of 4.7 per cent, and its Saturday edition dropped 4.1 per cent to 360,173.
News Limited’s total online audience grew by 27.22 per cent in the 12 months April 2004 to March 2005, compared to the corresponding 12 months. CARSguide more than doubled its average monthly audience, CareerOne grew its audience by 16.13 per cent and Real Estate grew its audience by 46.04 per cent.
There are now 10,340,000 people aged 14 or over a month reading a News Limited newspaper or visiting a News Interactive website. The total News Limited audience has grown by 111,000 over the past six months, according to Roy Morgan Research for the 12 months ending June 2004 and December 2004.
The total Fairfax audience – those aged 14 or over reading a Fairfax newspaper or visiting an F2 website - grew by 53,000 over the same period from 6,232,000 in June 2004 to 6,285,000 in December 2004.