London: The circulation of British tabloids has shot up after media baron Rupert Murdoch closed down News of the World in July in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, latest industry figures show.

The Sunday Mirror picked up the most new customers with average sales for July of 1,786,454 copies almost 700,000 more than in June.

Daily Star Sunday was the big winner in percentage terms, selling an average of 703,632 copies, an increase of 130% over June figures, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

The Sunday Mirror's July sales represented an increase of 64 per cent month on month and 55 per cent up on July last year, while the People sold 806,544 copies in July - a rise of 70 per cent on the previous month and 50 per cent on the previous year.

The circulation of the Daily Star Sunday was 90 per cent more than a year ago. The Sunday Express added 20 per cent more sales, rising to 648,806.

Sales of the Mail on Sunday grew by 17 per cent compared with June, to 2,255,399. Publishers of the Mail claimed in a statement that it was now Britain's best selling Sunday paper.

It added, "The figures reveal that the Mail on Sunday sells more copies than all its rivals in the Sunday quality market put together - the Sunday Times, Observer, Sunday Telegraph and Independent on Sunday."

Altogether, the five Sunday tabloids added nearly two million copies compared with June.

All had printed more copies and poured money into promotions or price-cutting in a bid to grab the lion's share of the News of the World's circulation, which was 2.6 million in June.