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Sales at Enterprise firms soar to €14bn

COMPANIES supported by Enterprise Ireland achieved record growth of sales worth almost €14bn.

However, direct employment in these firms has dropped by 5,000 within the year, new figures have shown.

New export sales soared to €1.95bn in 2010, according to Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency with responsibility for developing Irish companies and driving export sales.

Ireland client companies are responsible for almost 300,000 indirect and direct jobs and spend an estimated €19bn per annum in the Irish economy, delivering huge economic impact to communities across every county.

And the agency's annual report says that 8,193 new jobs were created in Enterprise Ireland-supported companies last year, bringing the number employed to 137,241. The annual report says there has been "a strong rebound" in exports and about 70pc of exports lost in 2009 were recovered last year.

Frank Ryan, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, above, said Irish exports grew by 27pc in Germany, central and eastern Europe and Russia last year.