Ireland on Sunday claims to be the fastest-growing newspaper in Europe after the latest ABC figures confirmed its sales are up 205 per cent.
A sizeable marketing budget, giveaways and cover price cuts have been cited as part of the reason for the sales surge.
The paper sold 162,543 copies a week between September and December 2002, a figure displayed prominently in a full-page advertisement in the Irish Times under the heading ““Read it and weep, Tony” – a barb aimed at the Independent’s proprietor, Sir Anthony O’Reilly.
The advertisement noted that since the paper’s relaunch last May, its circulation had more than trebled and that in the three months October, November and December 2002, its circulation represented a 205 per cent increase.
Overall, in the period from July to December, the paper’s weekly circulation was 151,630,prompting the advertisement to conclude: “And here’s a little exclusive: the figures for January and February of this year are even better. Now that’s what we call a rise, Sir Anthony.”
The new Irish ABCs have highlighted the increase in “bulk” copies included by Independent News and Media titles. Figures show that the Sunday Independent’s circulation of 305,180 included more than 31,000 bulks, up from 2,346 in the previous six months.
The daily Irish Independent, with a circulation of nearly 170,000, had bulk sales of 21,000 copies. The Evening Herald’s bulk sales were up 600 per cent to 15,130.
By Des Cryan in Dublin