Sales of newspapers across the globe grew in 2004 and advertising revenues rose by a robust 5%.

The Paris-headquartered World Association of Newspapers says sales of dailies increased 2.1% last year, especially in the developing world, thanks to new formats, better distribution and the rise in free titles.

Sales in Europe, the US and Australia, however, were stagnant.

Says WAN director general Timothy Balding: "Despite the incredible competitive challenges in the advertising market, newspapers have more than held their own and their revenues are strongly on the increase again."

More than 395 million people worldwide buy a newspaper every day, up from 374m in 1999. Three-quarters of the world's 100 bestselling dailies are now published in Asia, and China has the largest market for newspapers, with a total of 93.5m copies sold daily.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff