The Irish newspaper industry has taken another battering with a further drop in sales in the first half of the year. Figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) show all daily and Sunday newspapers losing ground.
The Irish Times fell the most of any national paper, dropping 9% to 84,201 copies a day. When bulk, or free copies distributed to the likes of hotels and airlines are excluded, it was selling just 71,879 copies.
The Irish Independent fared better falling 3.9% to an average of 121,120 copies a day, down from 125,986 a year ago. Its actual full price sales were 101,804 copies.
And the paper got no bounce from its publication of the so-called 'Anglo tapes' in June. Its average daily circulation in June was about 115,000 copies, below what it sold in May and below June last year.
The Irish Examiner dropped 5.8% to 37,897 copies; The Evening Herald fell 4.3% to 58,545 copies and the Cork Evening Echo plunged 12.3%.
The Sunday Independent fell 2.6% to 232,494 copies, the Sunday World 6.9% and the Sunday Business Post 6.7% to 38,292 copies, the ABC data shows.
The latest circulation drops come as newspaper groups continue to struggle financially.
Independent News & Media (INM) are in the middle of a massive restructuring to prevent it from collapse under the weight of €430 million in debt.
That involves selling off its profitable South African newspaper business. And it has needed a massive write-off on its bank loans, including getting relief from Bank of Ireland and AIB. It's also axing 10% of its staff and cutting the benefits of pensions in half.
INM is looking to cut its debts to about €118 million and will next week update shareholders on the restructuring plan when it releases first half financial results. Shares in the company have plunged 70% in the past year.
Thomas Crosbie Holdings - the Irish Examiner parent - went into receivership with its debts to AIB being discarded. The paper is currently owned by some members of the Cork-based Crosbie family.
And the Sunday Business Post has just emerged from examinership and it is now owned by a group controlled by Dublin-based businessman Conor Killeen.
The ABC data does not cover sales of UK papers in Ireland. They were released in July and show steep declines for the likes of the Sun, Mirror, Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday.