CAPE TOWN, South Africa: More than 1,600 newspaper chiefs from across the globe have been talking up the industry at the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum.

Delegates were presented with data gathered by the World Association of Newspapers indicating that global sales had climbed 2.3% over the year, and 9.48% over the past five years.

Asia, Europe, Africa, South America all notched increases in sales, in contrast with a decline in North America.

Advertising revenues, the lifeblood of the industry, climbed 3.77% in paid-for dailies during 2006, according to the annual World Press Trends report, produced by Paris-headquartered WAN. Revenues rose 15.77% over five years.

Hypes ceo Timothy Balding: "Newspapers in developing markets continue to increase circulation by leaps and bounds, and in mature markets are showing remarkable resilience against the onslaught of digital media.

"At the same time, newspapers are exploiting to the full all the new opportunities provided by the digital distribution channels to increase their audiences."

Highlights from the report show global newspaper ad revenues have increased for four straight years.

Newspapers' share of the world ad market held relatively steady with 29.6% in 2006, marginally down from 29.8% in the previous year.

Newspapers remain the world's second largest advertising medium, after television, with more revenue than radio, cinema, outdoor, magazines and the internet combined. When newspapers and magazines are combined, print is the world's largest ad medium, with a 42% share, compared with 38% for television.

Seventeen countries saw newspaper ad market share growth in 2006: Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.

Newspaper advertising revenues in the US, by far the largest newspaper advertising market in the world, slipped 1.68% in 2006 but increased by 5.69% over the last five years.

In Japan, adspend dropped in 2006 by 3.20% but was up 10% over the past five years.

China saw an increase in ad revenues of 16% last year, and 58% over five years.

Newspaper markets in the European Union notched a 1.36% increase in ad revenues in 2006, and a 39.54% increase over five years.

In India, ad revenues increased 23.18% over one year and 85% over the last five. South Africa also saw marked gains: 20.71% over one year and 141% over five years. Turkey's percentage gains were 3.01% in 2006 and 152% over the past five years.

Over the past five years, newspaper circulations were up in more than half of the countries surveyed and stable in 20%.

More than 515 million people buy a newspaper every day, says the report, up from 488m in 2002. Average readership is estimated to be more than 1.4 billion people each day.

Seven out of 10 of the world's one hundred best-selling dailies are published in Asia. China, Japan and India account for sixty of them.

The five largest markets for newspapers are: China, with 98.7m copies sold daily; India, with 88.9m copies; Japan, with 69.1m copies; the US, with 52.3m; and Germany, 21.1m.

More details from World Press Trends 2007 edition are available here.

Data sourced from (South Africa); additional content by WARC staff