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Group: News Sales, Ad Revenue Grow

June 4, 2001

HONG KONG (AP) _ Newspaper sales and advertising revenue are showing healthy growth as print media win back customers from other media, the World Association of Newspapers reported Monday.

An annual survey found that daily newspaper sales in 2000 rose in 22 of the 46 countries for which data was available, the group said in a report released during its annual congress, which began Sunday in Hong Kong.

After more than a decade of declining readership and anemic advertising revenues due to recession, a rise in newsprint prices and challenges from cable television and the Internet, the newspaper industry began to recover in 1998.

The number of daily publications rose in 28 countries in 2000, remained unchanged in 14 countries and fell in 14.

Daily newspaper circulation edged down 0.1 percent in 2000 from the year before in the United States, the lowest decline since the World Association of Newspapers began conducting the survey in 1987.

The strongest growth was registered in Asia. Newspaper sales jumped 20.2 percent in India, where the number of newspaper readers has risen by almost 30 percent since 1996.

In China, newspaper sales rose 12.7 percent year-on-year in 1999, the last year for which figures were available, the Paris-based group reported.

Sales slipped 0.4 percent in the European Union in 2000, half the 0.8 percent decline recorded in 1999. Over the past five years, newspaper sales in the EU have fallen 2.5 percent.

Sales also fell in Japan, by 0.4 percent, but the nation of 127 million remained the world’s biggest daily newspaper market in terms of circulation, with 71.9 million copies sold daily.

India was second largest, with 66 million copies; the United States third, with 55.9 million copies; China fourth with 50 million copies and Germany fifth with 23.9 million copies.

Expansion of use of the Internet has boosted newspaper readership through online editions, the report said.

It said newspaper advertising revenues had risen in 23 and fallen in six of the 30 countries for which data was available.

The World Association of Newspapers represents 17,000 newspapers. Its membership includes 68 national newspaper associations.

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