Irish

Thursday 24 July 2014

Oracle paid just €11m tax on Irish turnover of €7bn

Gordon Deegan

Published 28/04/2014|02:30

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Photo: AP

US technology giant Oracle's Irish corporation tax bill was €11m last year, at the same time as its turnover here increased to €7.24bn.

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Tax is only due in Ireland on the company's Irish profits, which were €164.4m in 2013, according to new accounts filed by Oracle EMEA Ltd to the Companies Office.

The revenues recorded by Oracle's Irish unit represent 27pc of the group's entire global revenues of $37.2bn (€26.8bn) in the year to the end of May 31, 2013. The figures are sure to reignite the debate over the discrepancy between revenues at some of the biggest companies operating here, and their relatively small tax bills.

Last year, a controversial US Senate report said companies such as Apple paid little or no tax on tens of billions of euro in profits stashed in Irish subsidiaries.

Apple is the largest foreign employer in Ireland, with 4,000 workers, but it only pays taxes equal to around 2pc of profits.

The corporate tax regime here has been under informal investigation by the EU for the last six months. Earlier this month, a report from the Department of Finance said Ireland's rate of corporation tax averaged close to 11pc over the last decade.

It concluded that the tax paid by companies on profits earned in Ireland,

after tax reliefs are taken into account is close to the 12.5pc headline rate.

Oracle's main Irish subsidiary sustained a 21pc drop in pre-tax profits to €164.4m last year in spite of revenues increasing to €7.24bn.

The firm's latest accounts show that the firm's pre-tax profits dropped by €44.5m as revenues increased by 3pc from €7.04bn to €7.246bn.

The slump in profit was mainly a result of non-cash amortisation of intellectual property costs increasing from €35m to €251m.

According to the directors' report, "The trading results of the company have remained strong with a 3pc growth in turnover.

"The company earned a profit in the current year and our expectation is that the company will continue to trade successfully and remain profitable in future periods," the report added.

The Dublin-based firm paid a dividend on €200m in 2011, but did not pay a dividend in 2012, nor in 2013.

The filings show that the firm's tax liability for the year was €11m compared to a tax bill of €59.6m in 2012.

The firm's shareholder funds at the end of May 31, 2013, stood at €2.299bn; its cash pile decreased from €267.4m to €253.27m.

Oracle employs almost 1,100 staff here.

Last year's accounts show 679 were engaged in sales and marketing; 182 in manufacturing and software development; 176 in finance and administration, and 61 in product localisation and translation.

Staff costs increased slightly last year to €84m, according to the accounts.

The profit last year takes account of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €256m. The firm's research and development costs last year totalled €41.8m.

The figures show that the firm recorded an operating profit of €161.2m and net interest receivable payments of €3.2m added to profits.

The filings also show that the company's distribution costs increased from €1.929bn to €1.953bn.

Irish Independent

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