Irish national newspaper circulation figures fell by more than 2.5% in the second half of 2015, with just two titles registering small gains.

The data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that between July and December The Irish Independent was the most read daily newspaper with 108,460 readers, despite circulation falling by over 1,000 from the first half of the year.

The Irish Times comes next with 74,092 readers (down 2,102), followed by The Irish Sun, which was the only daily newspaper to register a rise in circulation in the second half of 2015 and now has 58,463 readers – a rise of 761.

Meanwhile, circulation for the Irish Daily Star is at 55,408 (-2,250), the figure for the Irish Daily Mail is 46,028 (-4,009), The Herald is at 44,317 (-3,816), the Irish Daily Mirror has 40,300 (-2,950) readers, while the Irish Examiner’s circulation stands at 32,648 (-550).

With an average of 211,856 readers between July and December 2015 the Sunday Independent has the highest circulation of the Sunday newspapers, although weekly sales fell by an average of 1,693 from the first half of the year.

The ABC figures also show the Sunday World has 175,060 (-3,807) readers, the Irish Mail on Sunday has dropped by 3,914 to 86,191, The Sunday Times sells 80,023 weekly copies -  a fall of 2,725.

Notably, the Sun on Sunday’s circulation rose by 2,732 between the first and second half of 2015 to 55,779.

The Sunday Business Post retained most of its core following, with its circulation dropping by 2.38% to 32,162, while the Irish Sunday Mirror sells 28,835 copies weekly – down 1,751 from the first half of 2015.

The most recent fall in circulation figures here comes less than a week after the owners of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday UK newspapers confirmed the print version of the titles will close, leaving an online-only edition.

The Independent, launched in 1986, will become the first national newspaper title in the UK to move to a digital-only future.

The Independent on Sunday will go online only on 20 March, with The Independent following on 26 March.

The website has seen its monthly audience grow 33.3% over the last 12 months to nearly 70 million global unique users.

It added the site is profitable and is expected to see revenue growth of 50% this year. 

A major challenge for the newspaper industry is that print advertising revenues have fallen and few titles have found a profitable online business model.

This was highlighted again last month when The Guardian newspaper announced it is to cut running costs by 20% over three years and may begin charging for some online content following a 25% plunge in print advertising.

Guardian staff members were told the group would be cutting around £54m in costs. 

Operating losses in the year to March 2015 were expected to be £53m, the executives said, adding the aim was to break even in three years.

Guardian CEO David Pemsel ruled out introducing a paywall for The Guardian's website and mobile apps but indicated that one option would be to make some content available for paying members only.