Apple NZ almost doubles profit… pays $3.9m tax

Apple Sales New Zealand, the local unit of the iPad and iPod maker, almost doubled annual profit on largely flat sales, while extracting a dividend that eclipsed earnings.

Net profit jumped to $10.5 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 28, from $5.5 million a year earlier, while sales slipped 1.5 percent to $565.6 million, according to the company’s financial statements lodged with the Companies Office.

The local unit of the world’s biggest tech company paid income tax of $3.9 million in the year, up from $2.5 million in 2012. Apple is one of a number high-profile multinational companies criticised for minimising tax by routing profits through offshore subsidiaries.

The Organisation for Economic Development is discussing measures to clamp down on such arrangements, and Revenue Minister Todd McClay yesterday said New Zealand tax department officials will be participating in the Paris-based talks this week.

Apple NZ’s accounts show the local unit was flush with cash during the year, with cash and equivalents rising to $26.5 million as at Sept. 28 from $4.3 million a year earlier. The company paid a $14.8 million dividend in March last year, its first since the 2010 financial year, when it returned $33 million to its parent.

The bulk of Apple NZ’s revenue went to related parties in the global group. It spent $531.5 million buying inventory from related parties, down from $539.2 million in 2012. Its total cost of sales was $541.4 million, leaving it with a gross margin of 4.1 percent in the 2013 year, slightly wider than the 3.4 percent margin a year earlier.

Apple NZ sold $552.8 million of goods in the 2013 year, down from $561.3 million a year earlier, while service fee income rose to $11.9 million from $9.7 million.

By Paul McBeth – BusinessDesk

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