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Express.co.uk broke the 1 million mark in terms of daily average unique browsers for the first time in June, with a 22 per cent increase on May's figures, according to the latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).

Monthly unique browsers to Express.co.uk increased by almost 20 per cent to 22.37 million, while sister title the Daily Star also had a good month, with monthly traffic up more than 25 per cent to 12.66 million and average daily unique browsers increasing by almost a third to 769,000.

It's a misconception that you get results over night and it does take timeGeoff Marsh, Northern and Shell
Geoff Marsh, group director of digital content at Northern & Shell, which owns the Express and Star, told Journalism.co.uk the growth was the "pay-off" from two years of investment in digital, despite the publisher being "late to the digital party".

"In the last 12 months we've been able to build up the key verticals in some areas like showbiz and lifestyle, and others we've deliberately targeted like consumer tech," he said, adding to the "strong resources" in news and sport.

"Personally I'm a big believer that the best way to do it is to work out strategically where you want to grow and where you want to be in 5 to 10 years time.

"It's a misconception that you get results over night and it does take time."

Both papers are still an order of magnitude behind the competition however, with the Guardian's record-breaking month seeing web traffic ten times higher than the Star, both in terms of daily average and total monthly browsers.

Guardian articles covering immigration rules and an opinion piece by comedian Frankie Boyle about David Cameron proved popular over the month, according to a Guardian spokesperson, and the news article reporting the death of Christopher Lee was the most widely read in June.

The only other UK national newspaper to report an increase in average daily traffic was Metro, with most titles seeing a slump in both daily averages and the monthly total.

Hover over graph to see figures, or get the full data (Source: ABC)

After smashing through the 100 million mark for total monthly unique browsers in May, The Telegraph continued on the same growth curve it had reported in previous months.

Daily average unique browsers fell 16.5 per cent, to just over 4 million, and monthly browsers dropped by over 20 per cent, to 82 million.

"Our record traffic figures in May were driven by huge interest in three events - Mayweather, election and the royal baby," said Malcolm Coles, the Telegraph's director of digital media. "Unsurprisingly, June's figures have returned to our normal rate of growth."

Coles also attributed the decrease to a change in "analytics packages" in measuring traffic at the outlet and the 3 per cent drop that comes with a shorter month.

Mirror Online's editorial director, Pete Picton, said in a release: "We expected a month-on-month drop in unique browsers after the General Election and birth of royal baby Charlotte in May, two landmark 2015 news events."

The Daily Mail remains the most widely visited news outlet in the UK, despite fractional decreases in June, with daily average unique browsers of 13.6 million and total monthly unique browsers of 210 million.

Hover over graph to see figures, or get the full data (Source: ABC)

Additional reporting by Madalina Ciobanu

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