Sunday Business relaunch misses sales target

Sunday Business, the national business paper which relaunched four days ago, has failed to reach its initial sales target.

The title sold 75,000 copies, 5000 short of its target 80,000, according to Bert Hardy, chief executive of Sunday Business owner European Press Holdings.

Hardy says: “Given that we anticipate selling 80,000 a week I think we have done pretty satisfactorily.

“As I’ve said, I will sell 80,000 a week and I can see us getting up to that point.”

The initial print run for the newspaper, aimed at a niche AB readership market, was 130,000. Agency press buyers say a circulation of around 80,000 at launch is disappointing because it indicates a lower level of trial purchase than was hoped.

Damian Blackden, press director at Zenith, says: “Titles normally sell in large quantities for the first issue before circulation falls to a lower settle-down point.

“They appear only to be selling at their predicted circulation average, and may find it difficult to maintain 80,000 over the next few issues.”

The original Sunday Business, launched by former Business Age editor Tom Rubython, sold more than 140,000 copies from a print run of 330,000 copies in its first issue in April 1996.

When it went into receivership in July 1997 the title claimed a circulation of 80,000, but the industry put it at 15,000.

The title and assets were bought in August by European Press Holdings subsidiary Sunday Business Publishing last August.

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