Sunday 17 November 2019

Medical giant Abbott has profits of €1.1bn but pays nothing in tax

Gordon Deegan

PROFITS at the main Irish arm of medical products giant Abbott increased more than four-fold to €1.1bn last year, but the company still paid no corporation tax.

New figures show Abbott Laboratories Vascular Enterprises (ALVE) recorded the sharp increase in profits through €716.9m in dividend income received mainly from two Irish subsidiaries as well as net royalty income totalling €374.3m.

But the figures also show that the firm, which employs 228 people in Ireland, paid no corporation tax on its €1.1bn profits last year.

Accounts filed with the Companies Office point out that Abbott would have been liable to pay €139m in Irish corporation tax based on the 12.5pc rate.

However, thanks to items exempt from the tax that totalled €139m, the charge was zero.

The main activities of the firm are the distribution of medical and nutritional products, investment holding and undertaking research and development.

Accounts show revenues increased 2pc to €264.8m. Key figures include:

• The cost of sales jumped to €271.5m in the year to the end of December 2011.

• A gross loss of €6.6m was recorded compared with €7.2m in 2010.

• Net royalty totalling €374m and dividend income of €716.9m resulted in the €1.1bn pre-tax profit.

• The firm's R&D spend last year totalled €161m.

According to the directors' report, they "anticipate the company's trading position will continue to improve".

Abbott is a global healthcare company involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharma- ceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.

It employs around 91,000 people worldwide and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

In Ireland it has manufacturing facilities in Clonmel, Cootehill, Cork, Donegal, Longford and Sligo and a third-party manufacturing management operation in Sligo.

Figures show that the numbers employed by the firm here last year increased by 51 to 228, with 172 involved in production, 28 in administration and 28 in research and development.

The company's wage bill, including executive directors, increased to €17.8m from €12.3m.

Abbott paid no dividend last year, with the company having €2.4bn in accumulated profits with total shareholder funds amounting to €3.7bn.

The firm established its first commercial operation in Dublin in 1946, and its first manufacturing facility in Ballytivnan in Sligo.

Irish Independent

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