HORIZON TO OPEN NEW DUBLIN OFFICE TODAY - Westport based engineering firm Horizon is set to create ten new jobs as it opens a Dublin office today. The firm already employs over 30 staff and among its services is a serialisation programme, which protects pharmaceutical companies against the problem of counterfeit drugs.

Aiden Corcoran, Horizon's founder and managing director, says the expansion of the business into Dublin is another important milestone for the company, which was established in 2010. He says the further the company expands, the clearer it has to be about its products. Explaining what his company does, he says that all pharmaceuticals need a ''passport''. In the future, consumers will be able to get their smartphones, scan the product to make sure the drugs are the correct ones and from a valid source.

Mr Corcoran says that all drugs are currently being counterfeited, right down to basic antibiotics. Criminals have more and more resources when it comes to making counterfeit drugs and are now able to make drugs which look better than the real ones, he says. Supported by Enterprise Ireland, Horizon exports to Belgium, France and the US.


MORNING BRIEFS - Builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton has said its Irish business saw growth between January and June last for the first time since 2007. It says group revenue for the half year to 30 June 2013 was €1.07 billion, compared to revenue of €1.05 billion for the same period last year. In a trading update this morning, Grafton said trading in the half year was affected by bad weather conditions in the first three months and a recovery in activity levels in the second three months.

*** China - the world's second biggest economy - has seen a surprise fall in exports and imports, adding to concerns of a significant slowdown. Exports fell 3.1% in June from a year earlier, indicating weak global demand for Chinese goods. Analysts had expected a 4% rise in shipments. And imports fell 0.7% from a year ago, showing a subdued domestic demand. Declines in global demand have hurt China's export-led growth and there have been concerns that this may slow further, not least because of a protracted slowdown in its key export markets in the US and Europe.