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Irish News sales success a 'tremendous result' – editor

The Irish News is the only regional daily newspaper in the UK to have increased sales over the last 12 months, according to the latest independent ABC circulation figures.

The data for January to June 2006 confirmed that the Irish News was the sole title among 83 UK regional morning and evenings to improve its year-on-year position.

The Monday to Friday total daily sale for the Belfast-based Irish News is up by 1.8 per cent, which the company says also makes it the best performer in the Irish daily market, north or south, with every other paper, apart from the Irish Times, losing sales.

Editor Noel Doran said: “We are operating in Europe’s most competitive daily newspaper sector, but we have managed the best performance of any daily title in the UK and Ireland. This is a tremendous result, by any standards.

“When two titles were launched last year in direct opposition to us, the Irish News clearly faced a serious challenge.

“We have responded by increasing our circulation at a time when the general newspaper market is in decline, so great credit is due to our staff in all departments of the paper.”

The Irish News made a £15m investment in a new printing plant last year, to coincide with its switch to a compact format.

The move gave the paper a capacity of 96 pages of full-colour, and changed it from its current Euro, or Berliner format – adopted when it switched from a traditional broadsheet in 2000 – to compact, which is approximately 10cm shorter.

The paper was the CIPR/BT Newspaper of the Year 2006 and 2005, and has scooped the top award in Northern Ireland for five of the past seven years. It is the Newspaper Society’s Campaigning Newspaper of the Year and was voted to have the Best Weekend Supplement at the same awards.

The new ABC figure for the Irish News is 49,272 copies daily.