Google Ireland paid just under €171m in tax last year, as turnover increased by almost €6bn to more than €32bn on the back of strong advertising revenues.
The Irish arm of the online giant paid out a €1.6bn dividend to its US parent, while its tax charge for the year rose to €170.9m, up from €163.8m in 2016. Turnover increased by €5.9bn to €32.2bn, up from €26.3bn in 2016, which Google Ireland said was primarily driven by a rise in advertising revenues.
Those revenues were generated by an increase in the number of paid clicks through Google’s advertising programmes, it said.
Profit for the year after tax was €1.16m, down from €1.18m in 2016. The firm said administrative expenses increased to €21.9bn in 2017, increasing by €3.5bn from the previous year. This was due to an increase in headcount, as well as an increase in sales and marketing efforts across the EMEA region, Google Ireland said. Direct employment was up 7% more than to 3,400 at the end of 2017, it added. Vice president and head of Google Ireland, Fionnuala Meehan said: “2017 was a year of continued growth with global demand for our advertising products and services continuing to increase. The EMEA sales organisation here in Dublin is driving that growth across Europe.”
The company’s total assets decreased from €8.5bn in 2016 to €7.8bn last year, primarily related to decreases in debtor and cash and cash equivalent balances in 2017.
Shareholders’ funds decreased by 10% to €4.4bn, primarily as a result of the dividends paid to its shareholder of €1.6bn, which in turn was offset by the profit for the financial year of €1.2bn, the directors said in their report.
The directors warned that privacy concerns related to its technology could damage its reputation, and if its security was breached in an attack, it could lead to “significant legal and financial exposure”.