Apple is expected to report good growth driven by iPhone sales, with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both a success. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg.

Apple takes centre stage with iPhone sales driving up their profit margins

A generic form of the drug Plavix sits on crates at a Mylan Pharmaceuticals distribution centre. The drug maker Mylan has offered to acquire Perrigo for about $29 billion in what would be the latest mega-merger among drug makers if it is completed. Photograph: Travis Dove/The New York Times

Speculation that Teva would make bid for US pharma giant drives value up

MedColl founder Roz Martin, who says the company is supplying approximately 250 pharmacies across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other cities in the UAE

Irish biotechnology firm will supply its skincare and anti-aging supplements into UAE, Lebanon and Iraq

Twitter: results out tomorrow.  Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
For Your Diary

A round-up of business events happening this week

€16.8 million was secured by the Revenue Commissioners and €1.3 million by credit unions. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Value of judgments against struggling customers rises by 56% on last year

CRH closed up 2.8 per cent at €26.55, following the announcement that regulators had cleared its planned €6.5bn purchase of assets from Holcim and Lafarge. (Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons)

Upbeat economic data boosts European shares; even Greece benefits from lift

The European Commission has approved CRH’s planned €6.5 billion purchase of assets from rivals Holcim and Lafarge.

Sale of €6.5 billion assets was a condition for Swiss and French companies to merge

The Hong-Kong division of CompareAsiaGroup is headed by Irish entrepreneur Alister Musgrave. CompareAsiaGroup has raised $40 million in venture capital funding.

Investment will be used to expand financial comparison site CompareAsiaGroup

The top 14 hardest to fill IT roles include computer programmers, computer support specialists, software engineers (applications), network systems analysts and mathematical technicians

ICT-related jobs account for more than a quarter of ‘hardest to fill’ roles

GameAccount Network chief executive Dermot Smurfit and chief financial officer Desmond Glass.

GameAccount Network chief executive Dermot Smurfit says company has made ‘extraordinary progress’ in US

Mark Redmond, chief executive of the  American Chamber, says 700 US companies employ 130,000 workers in Ireland. Picture Nick Bradshaw

Joint initiative between American Chamber of Commerce and Royal Irish Academy

Hopes of more easy money from top central banks pushed Japan’s Nikkei index past 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years

World markets climb on hopes of more easy money from top central banks

 Eirgrid’s John O’Connor: “East West Interconnector, which brought significant benefits during its first full year in operation.”

State-owned energy company had pre-tax profits of €44.2 million and underlying profits of €18 million

Siobhan Talbot, who took over as group managing director from John Moloney in November 2013, took home a pay packet of €1.6 million last year

Food group paid four top executives a combined pay packet of €4.22m last year

With CRH’s acquisition of Holcim-Lafarge assets dependent on a merger, the Irish company’s shares increased 2.9 per cent to €24.98.

German industrial output higher than expected and oil rebounds

Piero Tintori, CEO and founder of TerminalFour. “The US is by far the biggest opportunity for us. There are 4,000 universities in the US”

Irish technology firm helps third-level institutions engage with students better online

The event will see participants pitch their start-up ideas and receive feedback from peers

Sean Hayes managing director of MTD Precision Engineering  and Dr Leonard O’Sullivan, senior lecturer  of ergonomics and human factors at the University of Limerick.

Exoskeletons will aid older adults in carrying out daily tasks, and participating in activities

IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said financial services continues to be a high growth sector in Ireland. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Roles will be in areas of financial technology, project management and administration

Passenger numbers at Aer Lingus rose last month on the back of an increase in long haul traffic. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Overall Aer Lingus passenger traffic in year-to-date is down almost 1 per cent

Tiago Mascarenhas, co-founder of English language school Seda College

Small Business Inside Track Q&ATiago Mascarenhas, co-founder of English-language school Seda College

Eircom has refunded more than 11,600 customers for loss of service last year. Photo: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Telecoms firm agrees out-of-court settlement with industry watchhdog ComReg

Aidan Brogan, chief executive of travel software firm Datalex: ‘Airlines will become more like retailers, selling more products to consumers.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Aidan Brogan knows his travel software firm needs to constantly stay ahead of rivals

Intel is seeking to encourage a new generation of women to take up careers in science and technology, be offering scholarships for STEM courses. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Programme will see monetary grant of €2,000 per annum given to selected scholars

Kennedy Wilson and Nama  to develop Capital Dock - 313,000 sq feet of office space and 204 apartments in Dublin’s south docklands.

Development will include 313,000 sq feet of office space and 204 apartments

Sony agreed to sell half its stake in Olympus to fund strategic investments, just two years after the Japanese companies formed a medical-device venture.

CEO says he wants electronics maker to move into health-care equipment

From left: Pointy co-founder Charles Bibby, AIB head of technology, media and telecoms banking John O’ Dwyer, Donnybrook Bikes founder Andrew Verbovsky, Frontline Ventures partner Will Prendergast, and Mark Cummins CEO and co-founder of Pointy. Photo: Colm Mahady/Fennells.

Dublin-based start-up aims to help retailers keep €3.6 billion in online sales in Ireland

Amárach research on behalf of FujiFilm Ireland found that of the 43 per cent of people who print their photos, 53 per cent print them straight from their camera. Photograph: Frank Miller

Google vice-president warns of digital ‘Dark Age’ when technology becomes outdated

AIG has completed the acquisition of Irish health insurance provider Laya Healthcare, for an undisclosed sum.

Multinational insurance company is aiming to grow its health business in Ireland

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan said the Dundalk centre has the sole responsibility for delivering Prometric’s business services to its European customers. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

US testing company to invest €1 million in research partnership with DCU

Glanbia managing director Siobhan Talbot. Glanbia has sold its stake in Nutricima for a cash consideration of £21 million (€29 million).

PZ Cussons acquires Glanbia’s 50 per cent stake in Nigeria-based venture

A file image of bankrupt property developer Sean Dunne  (right)  with his attorney James Berman outside the Federal Court in New Haven.

Bankruptcy trustee seeking to secure assets Dunne is alleged to have transferred to wife

  Manufacturing technicians at Intel’s Clean Room in Fab 24 at Intel’s manufacturing facility in Leixlip. Irish manufacturing firms registered a further strong improvement in operating conditions during March. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Latest Investec PMI shows strongest rate of increase in job creation since May 1998

Investors were today booking profits on car stocks, the sector which has risen the most since the start of the year. BMW fell 1.3 per cent. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

ECB’s quantitative easing programme prompts investments in euro zone shares

 Dublin-based asset management firm Kleinwort Benson Investors (KBI) has posted a threefold increase in operating profits to €7.4 million. Photo: Bloomberg

Dublin-based asset management firm grew its 2014 revenues to €24.6m

Retail Sales have increased by 8.2 per cent on an annual basis, but fell 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis.

Sector with the largest monthly decrease was department stores which fell 2.1 per cent

 Life insurance companies in Ireland are among the least exposed to interest rate risk, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Photo: Bloomberg

Moody’s said insurers’ investment returns will continue to fall for many years

Nora Khaldi and Emmet Browne of Dublin-based bioinformatics company Nuritas.

Dublin-based start-up uses big data techniqiues to analyse the composition of food

Kevin Holler and Thomas Cullen, founders of Shake, raised €50,000 from family, friends and former colleagues to get the site off the ground.

Irish online network takes emphasis off CVs and asks users to create profiles

 Yahoo chief financial officer Ken Goldman, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Patrick Scully, managing director of Yahoo EMEA at the opening of the new Yahoo offices in  Dublin. Photo: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

78,000 sq-foot offices have capacity to see internet giants’s Irish workforce increase to 450

Brian O’Cathain, chief executive officer, at  Petroceltic. The explorer has agreed with its partner to withdraw from the Dinarta licence in Kurdistan region of Iraq.   Photo: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Decision made in light of the current low oil price and a lack of conclusive well results

Lagan Brick is to create 30 new jobs in Kingscourt in Co Cavan, as a result of the upturn in the Irish and UK construction markets.

Jobs will be located at the company’s old facility, which closed in December 2011

Central Bank director of consumer protection, Bernard Sheridan, said the bank was committed to continually improving the regulatory framework. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Netherlands authority report says bank could do more to ensure consumers are fairly treated

First Derivatives chief executive officer Brian Conlon said ActivateClients is a low-risk, earnings-enhancing acquisition. First Derivatives has acquired ActivateClients for €4.75 million. Photo: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Acquisition will provide First Derivatives with complementary software products

Datalex chief executive Aidan Brogan said 2014 was a year of continued performance and growth for the company. The Irish travel software firm reported a 69 per cent increase in profit after tax to US$2.7m for 2014.

Irish travel software firm posts 9% rise in revenues on back of new customer wins

DocuSign founder and chief strategy officerTom Gonser. The electronic-signature software company DocuSign is to expand its presence in Europe with the opening of a Dublin office.

Identity theft and data risk management company IDT911 announces 60 jobs in Galway

Dave Shepherd, head of generation engineering at ESB International. ESB International is continuing to build its presence in the Middle East with a new €2.4 million three year contract win.

Company will provide engineering services to SEC in Saudi Arabia and other locations

Chief information officers (CIOs) will need to become chief integration officers, as technology transforms existing business models, according to Deloitte’s tech trends report

Chief information officers need to keep up to date as technology transforms business models

Martin Shanahan: said Malwarebytes will be joining an established group of security software companies based in the Cork area. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Cybersecurity firm will create 50 new jobs in Cork over three years

At the launch announcement for this year’s European Insurance Forum were Sarah Goddard of Dublin International Insurance & Management Association, Ann O’Keeffe of  Aon Risk Solutions, Minister of State Simon Harris, Regina O’Connor of XL Group and John O’Leary of PwC.

European Insurance Forum set to attract more than 200 attendees

Irish-listed explorer Dragon Oil has received a takeover approach from Emirates National Oil. Photo: Getty Images

Dubai-based Emirates Oil currently holds 53 per cent stake in Irish-listed explorer

Online takeaway food service Just Eatprocessed more than 60 million orders for 45,700 restaurants in 2014. Photo: Bloomberg

Online takeaway service received over two million orders in Ireland last year

Altocloud chief executive Barry O’Sullivan said the funding will be used to grow the company’s US business, and increase employee numbers.

Galway-based software start-up to increase employee numbers in Ireland

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, has talked for many years about establishing a transatlantic airline offering cheap fares, and the disclosure that the board has approved outline plans suggests the company is now serious about proceeding.

Airline confirms it is talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft

CRH chief executive  Albert Manifold received a total pay package of €3.59 million last year.

Building materials giant reported €1bn turnaround 2014 pre-tax profits to €761m

The European Commission has approved DCC’s acquisition of the French retail motor fuel distribution business of ESSO SAF. Photo: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Irish conglomerate will acquire 320 Esso stations and 72 service stations

More than 22,000 mortgage loans drawn down last year, representing an increase in lending of 48 per cent over 2013. Photo: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Total value of mortgages drawn down last year amounted to €3.9 billion

The Nimbus Centre at CIT

Nimbus Centre moving companies into the digital era through the Internet of Things

 Eugene Cosgrove and Cillian Barry, co-founders of RaceCaller, which provides free horse racing tips as well as a social platform for horse racing fans to connect and compete.

Website will have up to 200,000 fan tips and comments shared each day of festival

 Simply Golf chief executive Colm Daly (left), PGA Teaching Professional Bernard Quigley (centre) and Shane Lowry (right) .

Irish App connects golfers with pros using geo-locational technology

Irish agri-business Aurivo has acquired UK sports nutrition company For Goodness Shakes for an undisclosed sum.

Acquisition will provide Irish agri-business with access to growing protein markets

Dublin recorded the fastest increase in hotel transactions and revenue per room of seven European cities in 2014. Photo: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Survey of hotel markets in seven European cities ranked Dublin first in terms of growth

Toyota was the most popular car in Ireland for the year to the end of February, accounting for 4,523 of new private cars licensed. Photo: Reuters

Number of new goods vehicles licensed during the month rose by 58% compared to 2014

Operating profit at Irish engineering group Mincon plummeted by 31 per cent to €10.3 million last year, despite rising revenues.

Chief executive of Clare-based engineering group to retire from the company

Smartwatch company Pebble raised a record $16m via  crowd-funding site Kickstarter.

Smartwatch company Pebble, which raised a record $16m via Kickstarter, says smartwatches will dominate the future

South Korean tech giant Samsung announced a new mobile payments system, Samsung Pay, at Mobile World Congress. (Photograph: Gustau Nacarino/Reuters)

At Mobile World Congress Spanish bank BBVA says financial services companies are also moving into the financial space

An employee waves her arm to demonstrate command of a 5G Mission Critical IoT wireless robotic device manufactured by SK Telecom Co at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Traditional companies are now moving into the Internet of Things era of smart devices

Foldable keyboard:  Microsoft basically reinvented the keyboard

There was plenty of good stuff in Barcelona which didn’t grab the headlines

A man takes a picture of Motorola Moto X smartphones during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photograph: REUTERS/Albert Gea

More than 30 Irish companies at trade show as deals and partnerships are announced

Old-school thermometer: Conor Harkin’s start-up team is focused on developing a smart thermometer – SmartTherm – to provide continuous temperature monitoring. Photograph: Frank Miller

Some $4bn was invested in digital health in 2014

Visitors at the Mobile World Congress. FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly criticised his agency’s new net neutrality rules during a speech at the event.  Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

Michael O’Rielly says he voted against new US regulation at Mobile World Congress

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler: Compared fifth-generation mobile networks (5G) to a Picasso painting. Photograph: Bloomberg

Tom Wheeler indicates arbiter for internet just and reasonable in interests of fairness

Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner of Digital Science and Society, delivers a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday. Europe’s two biggest telecom operators have called on regulators to be flexible in finalising rules to protect the openness of the Internet, to allow them to give priority to certain kinds of data traffic on their networks. (Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters)

European commissioner for the digital economy said 5G infrastructure will be the nervous system of the digital society and digital(...)

Next year will see the majority of new fridges embedded for connection  so owners can remotely observe what consumables it contains.

Consumers will be able to check fridge contents while shopping Bosch CEO tells Mobile World Congress

Trying out  Samsung Gear VR devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Ninety thousand executives, marketers and reporters gather in Barcelona this week for the event. Photograph: Reuters

Facebook founder tells Mobile World Congress it’s not social media connecting the planet

Visitors use mobiles to photograph a banner advert for the new Samsung Galaxy smart phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Almost 90,000 people are expected to attend Mobile World Congress

 Carphone Warehouse Ireland managing director Peter Scott said the retailer’s performance represented a “sizeable turnaround in its Irish operations”. Photo: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish arm of retailer reports 13.3% increase in revenues for 2014

Chief executive Albert Manifold said 2014 was a year of strong strategic, operational and financial progress for CRH.  Photo: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Improving economic conditions helps building materials giant overturn 2013 loss

US ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley announcing details of Ireland’s involvement in the SXSWi festival, which  start on March 13th in Austin, Texas

Enda Kenny will address session as part of Entreprise Ireland’s partnership of next month’s Interactive event in Texas

Google hosted a Youtube Irish Creators Day at its offices in Dublin recently. Pictured (from left) are YouTubers Melanie Murphy, David Nagle, Sean McLoughlin and Youtube partner manager Marco Danesi. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Seán McLoughlin aka JackSepticEye, Sinéad Cady aka the Makeup Chair and David Nagle aka Daithi De Nogla did it and so could you.(...)

Ged Nash: said access to credit is vital for SMEs to invest and grow and ultimately create more jobs

Investment will be used to double staff numbers to 16 and expand operations

Bitcoin: Richard Hanlon, co-owner of Busyfeet & CoCo Cafe in Dublin, said 1-1.5 per cent of the cafe’s overall sales were paid for in bitcoin. He added that, from a retailer point of view, bitcoin was cheaper to accept than credit cards. Photograph: Stephen Lam

SNC Pilates and cafe joins firms accepting virtual currency as payment

Providence Resources chief executive Tony O’Reilly addressing shareholders at the explorer’s AGM last year. Providence hopes to raise $25.75 million in a share placing. Photo: Eric LukeThe Irish Times

Explorer is seeking funding to move forward with its multi-well drilling campaign

Pharmaceutical firm Horizon Pharma today announced 60 new jobs at the official opening of its global headquarters in Dublin.

Company to create 60 highly-skilled jobs in Dublin over next three years

Former Department of Finance secretary general, John Moran, has been appointed chairman of the Hunt Museum in Limerick. Photo: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

John Moran will take over the position of Chair of the Museum from Niall Greene

DCC has completed the sake of its Robert Roberts and Kelkin food businesses. Photo: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Two businesses were sold to Valeo Foods, the owner of the Jacobs biscuit brand

Standard Life reported a 19 per cent increase in full-year profit, beating analysts’ estimates.

Parent group reports 19 per cent increase in full-year profit to £604m

Liam Ryan: students from Ireland would have no obligation to work for SAP after they graduated

German software giant will pay 5-10 students €22,000 per year for duration of their degree

Funding from Highland Capital Partners Europe will be used to expand file-sharing service

“We need to back promising early-stage start-ups in order to build a pipeline of successful Irish firms”

Ability of indigenous firms to raise investment in Silicon Valley ‘a tremendous validation of Irish technology’

Mortgages to the value of €1.3 billion were drawn down during the final quarter of last year, according to the BPFI/PwC mortgage market profile. Photo: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

A total of 22,119 mortgages were drawn down in 2014, including 7,583 in fourth quarter

Peugeot’s total deliveries rose 4.3 per cent to 2.94 million cars and light commercial vehicles last year, boosted by demand for the 2008 and 3008 crossovers as well as the 308 hatchback.

French car manufacturer reduces costs by closing a plant and cutting jobs

John Herlihy, outgoing head of Google Ireland: “On a personal level, it has been a tremendous experience but, after 10 years, I believe the time is right for me to explore new opportunities”.

Ronan Harris to lead search giant’s Irish operations from April 30th

Princeton University economics professor and former IMF head of mission to Ireland Ashoka Mody. Mr Mody today said the Irish government blew an opportunity to get a debt write-down deal.

Former IMF mission chief to Ireland says Irish government missed an opportunity to get debt deal

KBC Bank Ireland has reported a loss of €91 million for 2014 following loan impairment costs of €198 million. Photo: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Chief executive says lender is on track to return to profit by 2016

Lynk was developed by Global Taxi’s tech team and employs more than 170 people

 Some of the estimated 10,000 people who attended Career Zoo in the Convention Centre last year. IT Alliance Group has announced 100 job vacancies ahead of its attendance at professional networking and recruitment fair. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The IT services firm will be attending Career Zoo, the recruitment event that features a coder hack space and ‘smart badges’

“It’s all about helping IT teams in organisations to understand banking systems,” Nomos chief executive Tricia Balfe said

XMLdation will deliver the software as a service, while Nomos Software will provide the backend technology

RTÉ One: one of the channels available on Aertv’s new Android app

App supports Google Chromecast, allowing Users to stream content from their mobile to their TV

Approximately two in three Internet users in the EU said they were concerned about experiencing identity theft  and about discovering malicious software on their device.

Nearly a third of Irish respondents have discovered malicious software on their device

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