New Drinkaware.ie and Insomnia partnership offers half-price evening coffees to customers

IT Force, in partnership with Strencom, has won a contract worth more than €150,000 to provide a private cloud and connectivity system to the Insomnia chain of coffee shops. “We had encountered a number of difficulties in relation to our IT infrastructure and connectivity network, resulting in persistent issues in store,” said Insomnia chairman, Bobby Kerr.  “Ultimately our IT resources were being devoured by small and repeat issues, which was both frustrating and expensive in terms of downtime and staff resources. “The IT Force and Strencom solution made perfect business sense for us, enabling us to eliminate the IT issues, while providing a smart network that was scalable and robust…

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Sky, Acorn Life and the Department of Health in Western Australia are among the organisations that will be recruiting and providing advice at next month’s Jobs Expo, where thousands of Irish and overseas jobs will be on offer, according to the event organisers. Learning Ireland, which runs the event, says Jobs Expo 2013 will provide job seekers with real opportunities to find a new job. Taking place from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February in the Hogan Suite in Croke Park, the event is free of charge and will include a diverse range of companies with “a large number of job offers”. Confirmed organisations that will be there include…

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Betting and gaming company Ladbrokes said today it has agreed to buy Global Betting Exchange Alderney Ltd (GBEA), the operator of the Betdaq exchange business, for an initial consideration of €30m on a cash free/debt free basis from TBH Ltd. Ladbrokes said it has also agreed to buy from TBH a 10pc stake in TBH Guernsey Ltd, the technology provider to GBEA, for €4m, with a call option to acquire the remaining shares in TBHG after four years. The transaction is subject to certain conditions and is expected to complete in late February 2013. “The Betdaq exchange is a well-regarded and well invested business and a close strategic fit for…

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Better than expected year on year sales growth of 25pc over the past three months by Primark has boosted profits for parent company Associated British Foods (ABF). Primark sales were driven by an increase in selling space of 14pc and superior sales densities in the larger new stores. Fourteen new stores opened in the past three months, ten of which were on continental Europe, bringing the total number of Primark stores worldwide up to 256. The company refurbished its flagship Dublin store, and relocated its Sunderland store to a bigger site. ABF, which also owns the Twinings, Ovaltine, Ryvita and Jordans brands, said overall revenue rose 10pc, despite problems in…

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Visa card expenditure in Ireland

There was a 43pc rise in the number of Visa cards in Ireland since 2011 to reach 4.9 million for the year ending 30 September 2012 with annual expenditure reaching €15.5bn, an increase of 17pc. This means €1 in every €7 of consumer spending in Ireland is now on a Visa card — either debit, credit or prepaid cards. There was a 26pc increase in the number of transactions during the course of 2012, with 201 million transactions taking place during the 12 month period. Visa Europe said growth in Ireland was driven from consumers becoming more comfortable paying with Visa cards particularly for lower-value everyday purchases as well as…

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Barry O'Leary, chief executive IDA, Minister Michael Noonan, Barry O'Sullivan, Vistakon Ireland plant manager and Minister Richard Bruton

Contact lens manufacturer Vistakon Ireland is creating 100 new highly skilled jobs at its site in the National Technology Park, Plassey, Co Limerick, where it is investing €100m in the expansion of its manufacturing operations. The investment, supported by IDA Ireland, will also lead to 200 temporary construction jobs over the next 18 months. Established in Limerick in 1996, Vistakon Ireland designs, manufactures and markets the Acuvue range of soft disposable contact lenses, the world’s number one brand. It is one of several Johnson & Johnson companies operating in Ireland, employing a total of 1,900 people. “Vistakon Ireland has been a major provider of employment and an important exporter since…

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Irish Pension fund

Pension fund assets performed strongly in 2012, with fund values up an average of 13pc to 17pc during the year, according to pension experts Mercer. “Global equities were up by 15pc during 2012, and have almost doubled in value since their lows of March 2009” according to Patrick McKenna, senior consultant with Mercer’s Financial Strategy Group.  “Furthermore, Eurozone sovereign bond markets also performed strongly, with average returns also ranging from 15pc-20pc, resulting in further gains for pension funds”, commented McKenna. However, pension scheme liabilities have also grown materially over 2012, due to the continuing decline in the yield available on ‘safe haven’ German government and other high quality sovereign and…

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Sean Rooney, technical director of Integrity Solutions

Many Irish businesses are facing increased security threats in 2013, according to IT security specialist Integrity Solutions. Mobile malware, securing the big data mountain, increasingly sophisticated social engineering, social networking attacks, and issues surrounding security and compliance in the cloud will all become more prevalent this year, it said. Following major security breaches in recent times at large international businesses such as Sony, LinkedIn, Global Payments and RSA, even the most successful organisations are finding it difficult to protect all of their data, all of the time, the company noted. In Ireland, there were a smaller number of high-profile security breaches in 2012 but this should not put organisations off…

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Dublin City Council has reduced commercial rates for 2013 by 0.5pc and now other local authorities must follow suit, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce. “The current revaluation of commercial properties that is taking place in the Dublin City Council area could lead to an increase in the rates bill for some businesses from 2014 onwards so any reduction in advance of this is positive,” said Chamber chief executive Gina Quin. “The remaining three Dublin county councils will vote on their 2013 budgets in the next three weeks and be put to the test as to how supportive they really are of commerce.” In the past four years, commercial rates…

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PayPal, which employs 1,500 people at its facility in Blanchardstown, has been awarded the Employer of the Year Award at the 2012 Fingal Business Excellence Awards. The awards, which were hosted by TV personality Marty Whelan at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry on Friday last, recognised how highly PayPal values and treats its employees. According to the judges: “ PayPal more than met the criteria for this award – they really value their people and do everything in their power to ensure that each and every employee is treated with respect, dignity and fairness in a creative and innovative atmosphere which celebrates the worth  and contribution of each individual.” Louise…

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