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Facebook's Irish revenues surge

FACEBOOK'S Irish revenues shot up from €15.2m to €229.1m.

The company made the gains after it took the first step towards billing customers for advertising on the website.

Before this, Facebook Ireland Ltd primarily provided marketing services to its parent.

The accounts for 2010 show that Facebook Ireland generated a pretax profit of €1.9m, up from €297,000 in 2009.

The social networking firm first established its European HQ in Dublin in 2008.

Earlier this week, the company agreed to make significant changes to the way it handles its users' privacy and data following an audit by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which was published on Wednesday. Staff numbers at the social network, which has more than two million registered users in Ireland, grew from 64 in 2009 to 151 last year.