THE Irish Independent has cemented its place at the top of the quality daily newspaper market, accounting for nearly half of all quality newspapers sold in Ireland.
The latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that the Irish Independent now accounts for 49.2pc of all Irish quality newspapers sold each day. The title had a total daily circulation of 123,981 between July and December last year. This newspaper widened its lead at the top of the market and is now ahead of the 'Irish Times' by 35,625 copies.
The 'Irish Times' had circulation of 88,356, while the 'Irish Examiner' came in at 39,555.
Overall, the Irish Independent fell 5.5pc year on year, beating the wider market. It was ahead of the 'Irish Examiner' and the 'Irish Times', which slid 6pc and 8.1pc respectively.
The 'Evening Herald' had a total circulation of 58,826, giving it a 19.2pc share of the 'popular' daily market.
The 'Irish Daily Star', which is a joint venture between Independent News & Media (INM) and Northern & Shell, had a total circulation of 70,961, giving it 23.2pc of the daily market.
In the Sunday market, INM's other titles continued to dominate. The 'Sunday Independent' once again dwarfed its Irish rivals with total circulation of 237,185, giving it nearly two-thirds of the market. Its rivals, the 'Sunday Times' and 'Sunday Business Post', had a little over 140,000 between them.
Overall, circulation of the 'Sunday Independent' declined 5.4pc, comfortably beating the wider market, which fell 6.8pc.
The 'Sunday Times' dropped 8.1pc to 100,720, while the 'Sunday Business Post' dipped 11.5pc to 39,416.
In the popular Sunday market, the 'Sunday World' was by far the biggest title, with 217,141. That was almost double the circulation of its nearest rival, the 'Irish Mail on Sunday'.
The 'Sunday World' now has more than 57pc of the popular market on Sunday.
The circulation figures came a week after data from the Joint National Readership Survey for 2012 showed that more than 520,000 people read the Irish Independent every day, up 44,000 year on year.