Facebook admits to £842m turnover in the UK in 2016 – but true figure likely to be much higher

Facebook reported turnover of £842m in the UK in 2016, up 300 per cent on the previous year, new financial figures show.

Accounts filed with Companies House for Facebook UK, covering the year to the end of 31 December, revealed the UK subsidiary made £58m in operating profit.

The increase in turnover comes because Facebook decided to account for more of its UK sales inside the UK. Much more smaller client ad sales are still believed to be processed via Ireland, so do not appear in the UK accounts.

Facebook paid £5.1m in corporation tax in the UK over the 12-month period.

Press Gazette’s Duopoly campaign warns that Facebook and Google now take most of the £10bn a year spent on digital advertising in the UK, and around 80 per cent of the growth. The concern is their dominance will push news publishers out of business.

Professor of journalism and media pundit Roy Greenslade used his final blog for IPSO to today express his support for Press Gazette’s Duopoly campaign.

He said said: “What is crystal clear is that the future of journalism depends on publishers securing a guaranteed form of income.

“And the best hope lies in recouping money from the two major Silicon Valley giants, Google and Facebook, which use newspaper journalistic content while attracting a huge share of available advertising.”

A report by OC&C Strategy Consultants warns that Facebook and Google will take 71 per cent of all the money spent in the UK on digital advertising by 2020.

Greenslade said: “It is vital that Google and Facebook are persuaded of the benefits of sharing some of their profits with established news providers. That’s why I support the Press Gazette’s Duopoly campaign.”

Half-year financial figures released in July revealed Facebook globally had increased its quarterly advertising revenue (which makes up nearly all of its total revenues) by 47 per cent year-on-year to $9.2bn.

Facebook UK’s 2016 annual report.