Microsoft moves $52.8bn of assets from Singapore to Ireland

27 May 2019

New Microsoft campus in Sandyford, Dublin. Image: Naoise Culhane

Ireland now the epicentre of software giant’s European and Asian operations.

Software giant Microsoft has moved $52.8bn of assets from Singapore to Ireland. The move also includes the transfer of its Asian trading hub to Dublin.

In effect, Microsoft’s European headquarters in Dublin has assumed control of the company’s operations for the entire Asia Pacific region.

According to The Irish Times, citing company filings, Microsoft subsequently wrote down the value of the Singapore assets by $3.4bn, resulting in a paper loss for the Irish company.

Bits and bytes

Microsoft has been in Ireland since 1985 and now employs more than 2,000 people at its giant new campus in Sandyford.

The software giant’s Irish company is understood to have paid a $3.5bn dividend to its US parent, a tenfold increase on the previous year.

Revenues filed from Ireland – including performance of other units in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa –  rose $22.8bn to $27.5bn. This is an increase of more than 20pc, due to “increases across all lines of business, intelligent cloud, more personal computing, and productivity and business process”, according to Microsoft.

However, despite the sales, increase profits slipped from about $1bn to $885m due to increases in corporation tax paid in Ireland.

Microsoft’s Irish trading unit values its lands and buildings at more than $1.3bn, including the Sandyford operation, its massive data centre facility in Grangegorman and potentially other properties in Europe.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years