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Figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation show marked rises in traffic for the majority of audited local news sites in the first half of 2012, and for all newspaper groups as a whole.

As a group, Johnston Press recorded the biggest increase in unique users online compared to the second half of 2011, with a 20.9 per cent rise in average monthly traffic and a rise of 23.9 per cent in average daily traffic.

Year-on-year, three local news groups recorded traffic growth of more than 30 per cent, compared to the first half of 2011.

The KM Group saw the largest rise of all regional publishers year-on-year, with a 36.2 per cent increase in monthly traffic for Kent Online year-on-year.

Iliffe News & Media Ltd, which owns the Cambridge News site and newspaper saw a 34.3 per cent monthly rise year-on-year and The Midland News Association, which owns the Express and Star and the Shropshire Star, saw a 33.8 per cent average monthly increase in unique users.

Trinity Mirror remains the regional group with the greatest number of monthly unique users, with more than 10 million monthly online readers, a rise of 11.4 per cent.

Johnston Press's Sunderland Echo website recorded the biggest rise in average monthly traffic of 44.8 per cent, followed by the Midland News-owned Shropshire Star with an increase of 41.8 per cent.

Fellow Johnston Press site Portsmouth.co.uk came third with an average monthly increase of 40.8 per cent. The website recorded the biggest increase across all regional news sites, with an average daily traffic rise of 48.4 per cent.

Northcliffe sites saw a 19.9 per cent rise in monthly traffic, with thisissouthwales seeing the largest rise in the network of 32.3 per cent.

The Trinity Mirror Regional Network saw an average monthly rise of 11.4 per cent year-on-year, with the Manchester Evening News experiencing the greatest increase in traffic for the group, with average monthly unique users up by 30.7 per cent year-on-year.

Newsquest sites recorded a 2.4 per cent rise in monthly readers overall, while the Glasgow Evening Times experienced a marked decrease of 31 per cent drop in average monthly traffic year-on-year.

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