ZB

Apple NZ tops $1 billion sales for first time

Author
Chris Keall, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 2:57pm
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Apple NZ tops $1 billion sales for first time

Author
Chris Keall, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 2:57pm

Apple topped $1 billion revenue in New Zealand for the first time as the pandemic fuelled demand for tech and the company's scale allowed it to secure priority supply of key components as a number of rivals faced shortages. 

In documents filed this week, Apple NZ reported $1.17b revenue for the year to September 25, 2021 - a 16 per cent jump on its $966 million local turnover in 2020, which itself was a 15 per cent rise on 2019's $838m. 

As with other big techs, hefty internal charges contributed to $1.2b in expenses. 

Net profit increased from $23.4m in 2020 to $28.8m. 

The company paid $12.4m in income tax versus $8m last year. 

Although it's not clear how much of that tax was paid on this side of the Tasman, New Zealand has a literal stake in Apple's success. A June 2021 disclosure listed Apple as the NZ Super Fund's largest listed equity holding - and one of its largest investments full stop - with our Crown superannuation fund holding shares worth $1.04b. And it will have increased in value since Apple shares were trading at US$124 at the start of June last year. Even allowing for the recent global swoon, they are still well up, closing at US$159.78 today. 

Pre-tax profit was $42.2m, meaning Apple NZ had a tax rate of 30 per cent - or the Australian corporate rate. 

That indicates the local operation's tax bill was ultimately paid to the Australia Tax Office (ATO) rather than the IRD in New Zealand, where the corporate rate is 28 per cent. 

Earlier, a tax partner at one of the big accounting firms told the Herald that because Apple's NZ operation is fully owned by the Sydney-based Apple Pty (which is in turn owned by US parent Apple Inc), it falls under a tax treaty between Australia and New Zealand designed to avoid double taxation. 

The setup meant the ATO can demand Apple pay tax on its transtasman operation in Australia, the partner said. 

It was possible that Apple had paid a 28 per cent rate in New Zealand then a 2 per cent top-up to the ATO to reach the Australian corporate rate, or that the full 30 per cent had been paid across the Tasman. 

A spokesperson for Apple said: "Apple pays tax in every country we do business including New Zealand." 

Apple reported total annual sales for 2021 of US$365.8b ($547b), a 33 per cent increase on the US$274.5b it reported in 2020. 

Its net profit was a record US$94.7b - a 65 per cent jump on the US$57.4b reported for 2020. 

The company made a US$14.5b provision for taxes.