Opening Bell: BOI's strong results, Brexit fears, SuperValu's growth

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

Bank of Ireland's interim results for 2015 show that the bank recorded an underlying profit of €1.2bn - an increase of 30% over the previous year.

It remains Ireland's largest lender, providing €6.9bn in new credit to personal and business customers in 2015.

The bank has confirmed that it intends to pay shareholders their first dividend since Ireland's banking crisis during the first half of 2017.

Speaking to Newstalk, the Bank of Ireland Group CEO said that the bank has been disciplined while growing its balance sheet:

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An increasing number of Irish executives are worried about the impact that a British exit from the EU would have on Ireland.

According to a new study from Merc Partners - 87% believe that a Brexit would hurt the Irish economy.

However - only 25% believe that the UK will actually leave the Union - that’s down from 36% in the same study last year.

In 2015 research by Open Europe forecasted that a Brexit would lead to a permanent reduction of Irish GDP of between 1.1 and 3.1% by 2030.

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Retail sales at SuperValu reached a new high of €2.6bn last year.

The company - which holds 25% of the market share - says it represents a new milestone for the brand.

The grocery retailer plans to open five new stores this year - investing €28m and creating 350 jobs.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress event last night in Barcelona.

Facebook’s virtual reality firm Oculus is working with Samsung to create consumer virtual reality headsets.

He says that V.R is “the most social platform” - and that we will soon have the power to share experiences with people as if they are “right there in person.”

The Mobile World Conference runs between today and Thursday - a number of product launches are expected from the world’s leading technology companies.