Amazon’s main Irish subsidiary saw turnover rise last year to €2.6 billion from €2.48 billion but pretax profits fell by a third from €39.6 million to €28.5 million.
Newly filed accounts show Amazon Data Services Ireland Limited set aside €12.6 million for corporation tax as against €11.7 million a year earlier.
The subsidiary, which provides data hosting services to other group businesses, employs 1,159 people. This compares to an average of 1,747 in 2020 and 1,575 in 2019.
Staff costs, including wages and salaries, totalled €214.5 million, as against €195.3 million in the prior year.
A second Irish unit, Amazon Ireland Support Services Limited, which employs more than 1,820 people, recorded a €4.7 million pretax loss in 2020, compared to a €4.2 million loss a year earlier.
Turnover rose from €152 million to €194.5 million over the year, although administrative expenses ate into this, rising from €156.2 million to €199.2 million.
Headcount rose substantially during the 12 months under review, from 1,131 to 1,624 and now stands at 1,821 people. Staff costs increased from €56.1 million to €77.6 million.
The subsidiary, formerly called Amazon CS Ireland Limited, operates a customer support centre in Cork.
During 2020, it acquired a fellow subsidiary, Amazon Development Centre Ireland Limited, for a €24.9 million. Later in the year, it increased its investment in the business via cash contributions of €75 million.
The latter business, which was formerly known as Amazon Web Services Ireland Limited, recorded turnover of €41.8 million in 2020 although this was wiped out by the company incurring €44.9 million in administrative expenses that led to it declaring a €3.1 million pretax loss.
Meanwhile, in a letter to shareholders, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos admitted the ecommerce giant needed “to do a better job for employees”, despite seeing off a proposal to create a union at its plant in Bessemer, Alabama.
“While the voting results were lopsided and our direct relationship with employees is strong, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees – a vision for their success.”
Mr Bezos is stepping down as chief executive later this year to become executive chairman.
Referring to employees, Bezos says he wants to add two elements to Amazon’s customer-centric credo. “We are going to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work,” he said. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg