How Facebook's NZ operations are going

Facebook New Zealand, the local service unit of the global social media website, said sales rose 7.4 per cent last year, lagging behind an 11 per cent gain in expenses and resulting in a wider annual loss.

Sales rose to $846,391 in calendar 2013, from $787,830 in 2012, according to the company's annual report. All of the revenue came from Facebook Ireland under a service agreement and is unlikely to reflect the ultimate parent Facebook's advertising sales in New Zealand. The net loss widened to $82,810 from $59,313. Income tax paid in New Zealand was $23,034, down from $28,484 in 2012.

A spokesman for the New Zealand business wasn't immediately available. Facebook maintains an office in Auckland, though it doesn't have a phone listing in the White Pages. Two employees are listed as having received restricted ordinary shares under the company's stock incentive plan while employee benefits expense rose 8.2 per cent last year to $547,409.

Sales for the local unit are a drop in the ocean for Nasdaq-listed Facebook, which generated revenue of US$2.5 billion in the first quarter, up 72 per cent from a year earlier.

About 91 per cent of revenue, or US$2.27 billion, came from advertising, while payments and other fees revenue generated US$237 million.

Facebook stock has soared 167 per cent in the past 12 months, outpacing an 18 per cent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and valuing the company at about US$165 billion. The shares are rated a 'buy' by analysts polled by Reuters. The company's 2012 IPO valued Facebook at US$104 billion, making it the largest-ever such valuation for a newly listed public company.

According to the Careers at Facebook website, the company doesn't have any jobs available in New Zealand, although it has one, a client solutions manager on contract, on offer in Sydney.

Facebook's registered office in New Zealand is given as law firm Kensington Swan in Wellington.

- BusinessDesk

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