Wednesday 22 November 2017

ABC figures show Sunday Independent is clear Irish market leader

'The Sunday Independent grew its market share by 0.6pc'
'The Sunday Independent grew its market share by 0.6pc'
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

The Sunday Times continued to lose market share in the second half of last year, as the Sunday Independent increased its dominance of the weekend quality market.

Data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that in the six months to the end of December, the Sunday Times tumbled 7pc to 80,023 while the Sunday Business Post saw its circulation slide 3.2pc to 32,162.

That compared to a market that declined 4.5pc overall.

The Sunday Independent grew its market share by 0.6pc with an average weekly circulation of 211,856 - down 3.3pc year-on-year.

The sales and readership numbers for the Sunday Business Post remain a big concern. Nearly three years after it was rescued from examinership by businessman Paul Cooke and investment firm Key Capital, the newspaper shows little sign of arresting its decline.

The newspaper's circulation at the end of the year was measured at 32,162.

The title has undergone a revamp in the past two years but it continues to struggle in a fiercely competitive market.

The Sunday Times fell 7pc year-on-year. Its average circulation was 80,023.

The Sunday Independent's circulation topped 211,856. That was a decrease of 3.3pc year-on-year.

Boosted by a revamped business section, which has seen increased pagination and a standalone property section, the Sunday Independent's performance has provided a marked contrast to its main rivals.

Sunday Independent editor Cormac Bourke was delighted with the Sunday Independent's performance, and noted that it "now accounts for 65.3pc of quality sales every week".

Overall the Sunday Independent increased its market share by 0.6pc and it is that improvement which stood out for analysts.

"The Sunday Independent accounts for two thirds of the quality Sunday market with the Business Post only selling 32,162 newspapers each week," said Robert Stokes at Davy Stockbrokers.

While the Sunday Independent still dominates its own market, the same can be said for its sister newspaper the Irish Independent. That title now sells an average of 108,460 copies every day - more than the combined circulations of the Irish Times and Irish Examiner - its principal rivals in the daily market.

"Readers trust the Independent brand of journalism and it is driving audience across our print and online titles," said Independent News & Media Editor-In-Chief Stephen Rae.

"The Irish Independent has grown to account for 50.4pc of the quality newspaper market during the week," he added.

Among INM's other titles, The Herald sold 44,317 copies per day, while the Sunday World had a circulation of 175,060 per week.

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