The latest figures from the ABC audit of newspaper sales show that INM newspapers were the biggest selling titles across their individual sectors between July and December last year.
Separately, a report from the Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS) reveals that nearly 2 million people read INM newspapers or websites every week.
According to the ABC figures, the Irish Independent now sells an average of 112,502 copies every day, increasing its share of the quality daily market to 50.3pc.
That puts the newspaper comfortably ahead of its competitors. ‘The Irish Times’ recorded a circulation of 76,882 while the ‘Irish Examiner’ sells an average of 34,424 per day.
Just as the Irish Independent leads the quality daily market, the ‘Sunday Independent’ is by far the top player in the Sunday market. The newspaper had an average circulation of 219,007 every weekend.
That makes it the best selling newspaper in the country with more than two-and-a-half times the circulation of the ‘Sunday Times’ which sells 86,059 copies a week. ‘The Sunday Business Post’ sells 33,233 copies.
The ‘Sunday Independent’ increased market share during the second half of 2014, to the point where nearly two out of every three quality newspapers sold on Sundays in Ireland is a ‘Sunday Independent’.
Editor-in-chief Stephen Rae said it was “encouraging to see from the latest ABC figures, that INM titles remain the dominant players in the industry”.
In the popular Sunday market, the ‘Sunday World’s’ circulation came in at 189,502 per week. The title accounts for more than 46pc of all newspapers sold in its category.
In the competitive daily newspaper sector, ‘The Herald’ recorded a circulation of 49,512 – ahead of the ‘Irish Daily Mail’s’ 45,129 and the ‘Daily Mirror’.
“Our readers purchase our newspapers daily and weekly to read from our world class journalists. The Irish Independent and the ‘Sunday Independent’ have both grown in market share which is a testament to the quality of journalism we produce week-in, week-out,” Mr Rae added.
INM titles lead the way in terms of circulation but also dominate the market when it comes to readership.
The latest JNRS report shows that INM titles connect with 1.924 million readers every week in print and online.
The report also shows the Irish Independent reaches 676,000 readers across the country. That is more than the combined readership of ‘Irish Times’ and ‘Irish Examiner’, which reach 410,000 and 222,000 respectively.
Importantly, this newspaper leads the market in a number of key audience sectors including the ABC1 demographic with 377,000 such readers. Around 391,000 “main shoppers” read the Irish Independent. That is 28,000 more than the ‘Irish Times’ and ‘Irish Examiner’ combined.
The Irish Independent confirmed its leading position in Leinster and Connacht/Ulster, while it is one of the strongest brands in Munster.
The ‘Sunday Independent’ meanwhile continues to outsell everything else in the Sunday market. The newspaper has 968,000 readers every week. Its position is so strong that it has 530,000 ABC1 readers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given those numbers, the ‘Sunday Independent’ has the most readers in every major region, including 208,000 in Dublin.
Elsewhere, ‘The Herald’ has over a quarter of a million readers and is the leading title among under-35s in Dublin.
INM’s supplements posted strong showings across the board. ‘Farming’ increased its readership by 13pc to 244,000 compared to 2013. ‘Weekend’ magazine leads its sector with 535,000 readers while ‘Health and Living’ is Ireland’s best read health publication with 478,000 readers – an increase of 15pc year-on-year.