Business Technology

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Facebook staff reap €12m shares windfall – twice firm's Irish tax bill

Mark Zuckerberg strolling around Dublin in 2011
Mark Zuckerberg strolling around Dublin in 2011

Gordon Deegan

Facebook's staff in Ireland reaped a €11.84m share windfall in 2012, the same year the social networking giant floated on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The share-based payments work out at an average windfall of slightly under €30,000 each for the 400 staff at the Dublin offices.

Revenues at Facebook Ireland surged 70pc to €1.789bn in 2012, according to new accounts lodged with the Companies Office. The company paid just €5.2m in corporation tax, however, after it recorded a pre-tax loss of €626,000 for the year.

The latest figures show that Dublin-based Facebook Ireland accounted for 47.7pc of the social networking giant's global revenues of $5.089bn (€3.75bn) in 2012. But, despite a €700m surge in revenues Facebook Ireland still did not manage to record a pre-tax profit, the accounts show.

The business recorded pre-tax losses of €626,000 for 2012, a tax charge of €5.2m resulted in an after-tax loss of €5.838m. That compared to a loss of €21.9m in 2011.

The chief factor behind the losses was the firm's administrative expenses, made up mainly of royalty payments made by Facebook Ireland to other Facebook entities. Those payments rose sharply from €1.03bn to €1.75bn last year, in line with the rise in revenues.

The figures show that last year staff and executive directors received share-based payments totalling €11.9m. It followed payments of €13.9m under the same heading in 2011.

However, 33pc or €3.9m, of the share-based payments in 2012 went to unidentified key management personnel.

In total, key management personnel received €5.5m in remuneration last year that also includes salaries and payroll costs of €1.65m.

The only two directors to serve on the firm at the date of signing off the accounts are Sonia Flynn and Shane Crehan, who were both appointed to the board on July 11 last year.

Thomas Ullyot and Cipero Herman resigned in October and July of last year.

Directors' remuneration for the year totalled €413,000.

Numbers employed by the firm last year increased by 33pc from 287 to 382 with total staff costs amounting to €45.6m made up of €26.7m in salaries; €2.9m in social welfare costs; €4m in other benefits and the €11.8m in share-based payments.

Facebook is growing rapidly here and has moved to a new 120,000 sq ft office at Grand Canal Sq, Dublin, that has the capacity to host up to 1,000 employees.

The directors state that the revenue increase for the year "was attributable to the company billing third party customers for online advertising on the website and for Facebook credits revenue".

The directors attribute the rise in administrative expenses to an increase in headcount between 2011 and 2012 and royalties payable to the company's immediate holding company, Facebook Ireland Holdings for licence expenses.

Irish Independent

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