Monday 17 December 2018

Google announces surge in revenue in Europe due to advertising sales

Google's European HQ in Dublin
Google's European HQ in Dublin
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Google has announced record revenues of €32.2bn for 2017 in its Irish accounts, a rise of €5.9bn due to the scale at which it is cornering the advertising market.

However, it only paid €171m in tax here because its declared profit in Ireland was just €1.16bn out of €32.2bn in sales.

The slim profit is a result of Google ascribing €21.9bn to ‘administrative expenses’, including ordinary business costs and money paid to related companies offshore.

The figures show that between them, Google and Facebook are now obliterating all other online rivals for advertising, including media companies.

Google says that it now “supports” 8,000 employees in Ireland, divided between permanent staff and contractors.

Its country manager and vice president, Fionnuala Meehan, said that 2018 has been the company’s its most successful hiring year in Ireland.

“Last year we saw an 8pc increase in employment here in Dublin with over 258 new direct jobs created across all our operations including sales and marketing, engineering and administration,” she said.

“The success of Google in Dublin has seen us grow, including the establishment of a new Google Cloud team; in 2017, we acquired the lease on the Velasco building on Dublin’s Grand Canal which gave us an additional 51,000 sq ft of office space for this division”. 

Google’s cost of sales increased to €9bn, an increase of €2.1 billion on 2016. This was made up “primarily of traffic acquisition costs”, said the company, “which consist of both the amounts paid to distribution partners who make Google search available as well as amounts based on revenue share arrangements under which the company pays its Google Network Members and other partners a portion of the fees it receives from advertisers.”

“Building on the foundations of our growth in 2017, we have continued our investment programme in 2018,” said Ms Meehan.

“As we celebrate 15 years in Ireland this year, we are continuing to invest in our operations and in our local community. We want our city to share in our success and we recently launched our biggest ever initiative to support local communities throughout Dublin. The Google.org Dublin Impact Challenge is a new €1m fund to support non-profit innovators and social entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas for change are making an impact locally.”

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