'Irish Times' records highest circulation rise of any daily


Latest ABC figures show average net circulation at the newspaper in the half-year to December 2005 rose 2.5%

The Irish Times recorded the highest average year-on-year circulation increase of any daily newspaper in the Republic, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures.

The average net circulation of the newspaper in the six months ended December 2005 was up 2.5 per cent, from 114,528 to 117,370 copies.

This was an increase of 2,842 over the figure recorded in the six months ended December 2004. In the first six months of 2005 the paper recorded an average daily sale of 117,543.

The Irish Independent recorded a circulation of 163,598 for the second half of 2005. This figure combines sales of its broadsheet (74,373) and tabloid editions (89,224).

The ABC did not release any comparable data for 2004 because the tabloid edition, which was launched in February 2004, was only sold on a six-day basis from November 2004 onwards.

Ithe six months ended December 2003, when the Irish Independent published a broadsheet version only, it recorded a circulation of 161,297.

In the equivalent period in 2002, the figure was 168,286 and in 2001, 170,075.

Of the paper's current 163,598 sales, some 18,663 copies were sold at a discount, known as a "bulk sale".

In the case of the 117,370 newspapers sold by The Irish Times, 1,697 were bulk sales.

The Irish Examiner achieved a sale in the second half of the year of 59,070, up from 58,778 in the equivalent period in 2004. This represented an increase of 292 copies or 0.5 per cent. The paper achieved a sale in the first half of 2005 of 57,331.

Daily Ireland, which started publishing for the first time in second half of 2005, achieved a sale of 10,017.

In the evening market, the Evening Herald recorded a sale of 85,506, which was down from 88,284 in the same period of 2004, a drop of 2,778 copies or 3.1 per cent.

In the first six months of 2005 it achieved a sale of 93,830.

In the Sunday market, the biggest year-on-year drop was recorded by Ireland on Sunday, a reduction of 11.6 per cent. Its circulation in the six months ended December 2005 was 127,399, down from 144,172, a decline of 16,773 copies.

The biggest selling paper in the State remained the Sunday Independent. However its sales also slipped to 286,613, from 291,323 in the equivalent period of 2004. This represented a drop of 1.6 per cent or 4,710 copies.

Also experiencing falling sales on a year-on-year basis was the Sunday Tribune. It posted a circulation of 71,808 in the relevant period, down 10 per cent from 79,769 copies in the same period for 2004.

This was a loss of 7,961 copies. While the year-on-year figures were disappointing, when the 71,808 figure is compared with the sale in the first half of 2005, there was an increase of 0.9 per cent or 621 copies.

One of the few Sunday titles to increase its sale was the Sunday Business Post.

It recorded a sale of 51,500 in the second half of 2005, compared with 48,639 in the equivalent period of 2004. This was a jump of 5.9 per cent or 2,861 copies.

The Sunday World posted a sale of 272,304 copies, which was up from 268,380 in the same period of 2004.

This was a rise of 1.5 per cent or 3,924 copies. In the first six months of 2005 it recorded a sale of 273,667 copies.