Saturday, 18 June 2011

Richard Desmond and 'dramatically increased sales'

In a blogpost about that dismal CNBC interview with Richard Desmond, Roy Greenslade highlighted another 'whopper' from the Daily Star-owning porn merchant.

Greenslade explains:

[Interviewer Tania] Bryer asked him: "How were you able to pay back the £97m loan you obtained in order to acquire Express Newspapers within six months?"

"By managing the business, basically," replied Desmond, adding that increasing sales also played a part. "The Daily Star sales increased dramatically," he said, "and the Daily Express sales increased dramatically."

Well, that was half right. Sales of the Star in the final six months of 2000 - the year of Desmond's takeover - averaged 543,000 a day and were falling. They soon took off, helped by a price cut, and now stand at 702,000.

But the Express story is different, and totally at odds with Desmond's claim. Its sale in 2000 was more than 1m. It has see-sawed downwards ever since to its current 631,000.

And Greenslade is right. There hasn't been a 'dramatic increase' in sales of the Express because there hasn't been an increase at all.

Richard Desmond acquired the papers in November 2000 and the daily circulation for the Express that month was 985,253.

According to the ABCs published by the Guardian, the Express has never come close to even matching, let alone surpassing, that figure in the ten-and-a-half years since.

Indeed, the highest monthly figure in that period was in August 2002, when it stood at 960,765 - still 25,000 down.

And daily sales in April 2011 stood at 635,576 - down 350,000 per day from November 2000.

But in Desmond's world, selling fewer copies of a newspaper means 'sales increased dramatically'.


  1. At least this time they can't banish away the truth by lying!

  2. Not a fan of Mr Desmond but could he mean increased advertising sales?

    Just a thought.

    Keep up the good work TW!!!


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