A Northern Ireland-based pharmaceutical company has announced it is opening a new facility in Dundalk, leading to the creation of 100 jobs over the next two years.

Almac Group says the move will provide it with "continued presence within the European Union in the long term".

The new 2,293sq.m premises is located at the IDA business park in the Co Louth town, bringing a jobs boost to an area hit by last year's decision by eBay to close its office there.

It will be used to support the firm's international expansion plans as demand for its services grow.

Privately owned, Craigavon-based Almac is a global contract pharmaceutical development manufacturing company which provides a range of products and services to the pharma and biotech sectors.

In November, it revealed its plans to increase its global workforce by 400 to 5,000 by the end of this year by investing £25m into its headquarters in the North and its US facilities in Pennsylvania.

It also said it would invest an additional £2m in the development of the Arran Chemical Company facility in Athlone, which it acquired in 2015.

The business also has operations in Singapore and Tokyo.

In a statement, CEO Almac Group Alan Armstrong said the latest investment was a further example of Almac's ambitious global expansion plans and its commitment to provide best in class products and services to its clients.

The news has been welcomed by Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell-O'Connor and by IDA Ireland Chief Executive Martin Shanahan.

"Almac's decision to expand into Dundalk provides the company with certainty of access to the European Union in the long term- this certainty of access is an increasingly important selling point for Ireland as we look to win business for Ireland," he said.

"IDA Ireland will continue to promote Ireland as an ideal location for companies from a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, IT and financial services that are looking to ensure that they have a presence in the European single market."