Sunday 15 September 2019

Google sales surge sees Irish turnover rise to €26bn - but tax is capped at €164m

Google's Dublin offices
Google's Dublin offices
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Google has posted a surge in the revenues and profits it reports in Ireland.

The search and advertising giant says that turnover increased to €26.3bn in 2016, a €3.7bn rise on 2015.

It says that profit here rose fourfold to €1.18bn, leading to an Irish tax bill of €164m, over three times its Irish tax payment for 2015.

The company’s administrative expenses increased to €18.4bn in 2016 due, Google says, to factors including increased headcount and sales activities.

The company's head of Irish operations, Fionnuala Meehan, said that Google now employs over 7,000 people at its Dublin office, a jump of 9pc on last year.

Google has been buying up extra office space in the docklands region of Dublin city to keep pace with its growth. Its most recent property move was the acquisition of a lease on the large Velasco building on Dublin’s Grand Canal, providing an additional 51,000 square feet for its operations in Dublin.

“We continue to expand our engineering operations in Dublin, adding 35 new roles last year,” said Ms Meehan. “We now have over 400 engineers employed in Dublin. The Emea sales organisation here in Dublin is driving that growth across Europe and we continue to deliver value for our advertisers, publishers and partner networks.”

Despite the rise in Google’s declared profits and tax here, the figures will be a reminder of the disparity between multinational firms’ revenue and tax that international accounting practices now reveal.

Yesterday, Facebook Ireland published accounts showing a huge increase in revenue through its Irish base, with revenue rising from €7.9bn to €12.6bn last year. The tech giant’s profit before tax in Ireland rose from €109.6m to €174.3m, leading to an Irish tax bill of €30.4m last year.

The European Commission may soon propose new rules around tax consolidation across the EU following support for such a measure from the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

Marketing research estimates that Google and Facebook have over half the world's digital advertising revenue, which is the fastest-growing sector in the advertising industry.

Online Editors

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