Apple planning to double size of Cork operation in potential €700m investment

11 May 2015

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Tech giant Apple is understood to be in negotiations with the IDA and the Irish Government about doubling the size of its operations in Cork, where it currently employs more than 4,000 people.

Tech giant Apple is understood to be in negotiations with the IDA and the Irish Government about doubling the size of its operations in Cork, where it currently employs more than 4,000 people.

It has been reported that the California technology company is planning to buy land adjacent to its operations in Holyhill, Cork, in a move that will transform its operations and could accommodate up to 2,000 more people.

According to The Sunday Timessuch an expansion would involve an investment of several hundred million euros.

Apple first located in Cork in 1980 when it was still quintessentially a start-up and since then the Cork workforce has rolled with the changes at Apple and played a pivotal role in the company’s growth trajectory.

Initially a pure-play manufacturing hub, the operation in Cork expanded, receded and expanded again, and today employs 4,000 people across a panoply of vital roles from supply chain to e-commerce, legal, financial and sales and marketing. Apple’s operations in Cork also involve the assembly of Mac Pro desktop computers.

Apple’s continued investment in Ireland

News of the investment comes hot on the heels of Apple announcing a major €850m data centre operation in Athenry, Galway, which will be powered purely by renewable energy and which will result in the creation of 200 construction jobs.

In recent weeks it also emerged that Apple will directly fund at least six Irish renewable energy projects, amounting to a potential additional investment of €400m on top of the €850m the company is investing in the green data centre in Athenry, Galway.

The Apple workforce in Cork has more than doubled since 2009 and more than €100m has been invested. Apple is currently advertising 140 jobs on its website.

In 2012, Apple announced 500 new jobs at Apple Cork after the operation recorded 55pc year-on-year growth in revenues from the markets it services.

In recent weeks Apple warned in a regulatory filing that it may be forced to pay up to 10 years’ worth of back taxes in Ireland if a current European Commission investigation finds against it.

Apple said that the claims against it are without merit but warned that it could face a “material event” – in Wall Street parlance 5pc of pre-tax profits, which would be around US$2.5bn.

Apple’s impact in Europe

Apple directly employs 18,300 people in 19 European countries. In the last 12 months alone the company is understood to have added 2,000 jobs in Europe.

A recent economic impact study on behalf of Apple estimated that the California tech giant has contributed 629,000 jobs in Europe, from app developers and suppliers to business processes and retail.

Apple pointed out that 50pc of all direct and indirect app economy jobs in the EU28 can be directly attributed to iOS.

The app revolution has added nearly 500,000 iOS jobs to the economy in Europe since the introduction of the App Store in 2008.

Apple said it has paid US$6.5bn to developers across Europe, nearly 30pc of the US$20bn Apple has paid to developers around the world to date.

Apple Store image via Shutterstock

 

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com