GLANBIA is to create 90 jobs in Monaghan and Dublin as it looks to sell more food products overseas.
The company said its consumer products division, which counts Avonmore and Premier Dairies among its brands, will hire 40 people to process milk for China and other emerging markets in Co Monaghan, while another 50 staff will be taken on at Glanbia's new Dublin head office for its nutritionals business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In Monaghan, the company will build a new facility for 'UHT' milk and cream, which remains usable for a much longer period of time than milk products processed in the usual manner.
The plant is expected to be operational within the first quarter of next year, and comes on the back of recent trade missions pushing Irish trade with China by various government figures including Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.
Demand for dairy products has been rocketing in China in recent years as consumers there have been beset by a number of food scares among local suppliers and New Zealand's super co-op Fonterra.
The Monaghan investment is being backed by the Department of Enterprise.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said the new jobs were a "major boost for the sector and further evidence of what can be achieved right across the country".
Mr Coveney, meanwhile, claimed that developing an "Irish-branded UHT product for the Chinese market is a really important, strategic move for both the company and the Irish dairy industry".
"I am also heartened to see the company set up its EMEA, head office, in Dublin for its Performance Nutrition business," he added.
The establishment of a UHT business by Glanbia's consumer arm was evidence of an ongoing reworking of the division, said Goodbody's Liam Igoe.
The Dairy Ireland division has come under significant pressure this year as cost inflation and a difficult consumer environment has seen profits fall, he said.
"As a result, the group is seeking to find alternative end-markets for its milk pool. The investment in the Performance Nutrition business, meanwhile, underpins Glanbia's commitment to drive sales growth outside of this business's core US market," he added.