13 SEPTEMBER 1975, Page 4

Sales and losses

Sir: I would like to draw your attention to Robert Ashley's article (August 30) headed "Losing sales in a 'growth' market", in which he implies that it is "better to go for smaller circulation but with profitability than to go blindly trying to get back to a figure you reached some years ago". Robert Ashley suggests that this is the thinking of the Mirror Group.

The origin of this comment is clearly a statement published by the Media Department (Advertising) of Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, which said: "In fact it would be surprising if any publisher were currently trying to increase his circulation. To do so would surely be to add to the losses he is already making."

The truth of, the matter is that the Daily Mirror makes a run-on profit of £798 on every additional sopo copies sold. The Sunday Mirror makes £1,232 on every additional 50,000 copies; the Sunday People an additional £1,151. If we could increase the sales of the Daily Mirror by 100,000 copies a day for a whole year, we would increase otoprofit by £493,164 per year. Why on earth, then, should we want to reduce our circulation? What is true of our newspapers is almost certainly true of other popular newspapers. It is certainly not true of the "unpopulars". The well-described "heavies" are in the unfortunate position that the revenue from sales of additional copies sold very often doesn't even cover the cost of the newsprint on which they are printed.

Percy Roberts Chief Executive, Mirror Group of Newspapers, Holborn Circus, London Ed.