Australian newspaper sales have posted less than positive circulation results in figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations despite The Newspaper Works insisting that the results show they’re “defying newspaper sales trends overseas”.

Sales of Monday to Sunday metropolitan newspapers decreased 1.1% in the three months ending September 30, 2009, compared with the previous corresponding period, despite the figures indicating that Australians are buying more than 20 million newspapers every week.

Sales of national, metropolitan and regional Monday to Saturday Australian newspapers were also down by 1.3%, while metropolitan Sunday newspapers segment circulation was down 2.5%.

The Newspaper Works said that while there have been decreases in the Australia figures, they are “in sharp contrast to the latest circulation data from the US and UK”.

“Just as the Australian economy has proven more resilient than the rest of the world, so too have our newspapers. Newspapers in Australia continue to set the news agenda on a daily basis and Australians turn to newspapers as the most reliable news medium,” said The Newspaper Works CEO Tony Hale.

In the US market, weekday newspaper sales dropped by 10.6%, while Sunday newspapers fell by 7.5%. The circulation trend in the UK is also continuing downwards, with national daily newspaper sales in September this year falling by 3.9% year on year, and Sundays down by 6.3%.

In a similar study conducted by Roy Morgan on ‘Newspaper Readership after the Global Financial Crisis’, weekend papers and some dailies have managed to avoid the worst of the period, with The Australian and its weekend offering picking up extra sales.

The Roy Morgan research showed that though some papers increased and some decreased, “clearly this is a much better situation than is seen overseas and especially in the US”.