Business Irish

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Mixed fortunes for two of Amazon's Irish-based operations

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Profits at book retailer Amazon's Irish-based data centre operation soared last year, but its call centre business saw losses more than double.

Profits at the data centre operation jumped 80pc to €6.8m last year, but its call centre business saw losses of €1.1m.

New accounts just filed for the two companies that operate the services here reveal the contrasting fortunes of the businesses.

Amazon's data centre arm employs close to 300 people in Ireland, while its call centre operation has almost 650 on its payroll in Cork.

Both firms provide services to the wider Amazon group.

Accounts for the firm behind its data centre operation – Amazon Data Services Ireland – show that revenue soared 74pc to €196.3m last year. It operates seven separate hub facilities in Dublin.

The company is among global tech firms including Google and Microsoft that have significant data centre operations here.

That's partly due to environmental factors including Ireland's relatively benign and temperate climate, which ensures running costs are lower than in locations where extremes of temperature are more common.

Amazon says that a "key indicator" for its data centre performance here is its admin- istrative costs. They jumped last year to €181.8m from €105.3m.

Corporation tax

The company also paid a base €858,000 in corporation tax last year, but the figure was bumped up to €6.3m as a result of the effect of €5.5m in depreciation that was in excess of capital allowances.

The outstanding loan repayable to its parent company slumped to €7.7m last year from €134m.

Accounts for the call centre arm – Amazon CS Ireland – show that its loss rose to €1.1m last year from €424,000. Turnover at the business rose 19pc to €32.9m, but its administrative expenses also climbed, by 21pc to €34.1m.

Highlighting the higher pay of engineering staff, the Amazon data centre business paid its staff a total of €15.4m in wages and salaries last year.

There was an average of 235 employed by the firm during the year, with the figure rising towards the end of 2012. That made for an average salary of €65,500.

At its contact centre operation, the total salaries and wages bill was €17.7m, with an average of 583 people having been employed by the business in 2012. That resulted in an average salary of €30,300.

Amazon generated sales of $21.2bn (€16.2bn) in the quarter to the end of December, up 22pc year-on-year.

Its net income fell 45pc to $97m.

For the full 2012 financial year, net sales were up 27pc to $61bn, while it generated a $39m net loss compared with net income of $631m in 2011.

Irish Independent

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