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Scotland's Sunday Herald beats print decline after independence Yes vote declaration boosts sales

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

August 27, 2014 | 3 min read

Scotland’s Sunday Herald newspaper saw its sales increase after backing a Yes vote in the upcoming Scottish independence referendum, ABC figures show.

In the first half of 2014, the Sunday Herald’s print sales went against the general decline with a one per cent increase, and figures showed a boost in sales in May when the paper declared its support for Scottish independence.

According to the Herald & Times Group, internal figures for July and August suggest growth rate is increasing.

Richard Walker, editor of the Sunday Herald, said the paper’s decision to back a Yes vote had helped boost sales alongside the launch of a new glossy magazine.

ABC’s regional figures showed a continuation of the decline in print across all regional titles, but online readership numbers across various publishing groups are increasing substantially.

Newsquest’s HeraldScotland, which publishes material from the Sunday Herald and its daily sister title the Herald, and sits behind a metered paywall, saw audience growth of 28.3 per cent compared to the first half of last year.

Overall, Newsquest saw online growth of 24 per cent to 16 million across all its regional titles.

Johnston Press - which recently eased its debt liabilities with a refinancing plan - saw readership increase by 18 per cent to 15.5m compared to the same period in 2013, and the website for Scottish broadsheet the Scotsman saw growth of 12.5 per cent to nearly three million monthly unique users.

Local World, owner of titles such as the Leicester Mercury and the Nottingham post, saw monthly users increase by over 40 per cent to 16.4 million.

Trinity Mirror does not publish an audited figure for online readership across its regionals, but the publisher claims its average monthly user figure is up by more than half (54 per cent) to 17.4 million compared to the second half of 2013.

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