Technology giant Apple has confirmed to RTE News that it will create 500 jobs at its European headquarters in Cork.

The company plans to construct a three-storey office block next to its existing plant in the city.

This will cater for the expansion of its business in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

Apple has been in Cork for 30 years. It currently employs 2,800 people in the city and its business is booming.

In the three months from October to December last year, revenues in markets serviced by Apple's Cork plant grew 55% year-on-year.

This growth means that Apple has out-grown its European headquarters at Hollyhill in Cork and more than 400 staff now work out of 30,000 square feet of leased office space in the Owen O'Callaghan re-developed Half Moon Street in the city centre.

Now Apple is expanding in Cork again. Apple's senior director for Corporate Communications, Alan Hely, has confirmed to RTE News that the company plans to increase its workforce in the city by 500 to 3,300 over the next 18 months. He said the company was "thrilled" to make the announcement.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and senior officials in IDA Ireland have been involved in meetings on the project here and with Apple management in the US over several months.

"This development continues the strong trend of investment over the past years in Ireland, in particular from global ICT companies and demonstrates Ireland's continuing success in attracting FDI additional investment," commented IDA Ireland's chief executive Barry O'Leary.