Opening Bell: Facebook Ireland says "we do not avoid tax", INM won't pay dividends, Siro doubles workforce

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Facebook Ireland has declared "we do not avoid tax", as the Irish Independent reveals the tech giant's Irish arm enjoyed record levels of revenue and pre-tax profit in 2015.

Its corporate tax bill was €16.53m last year, representing just a tiny percentage of its record-breaking revenues of €7.89bn.

Revenues were €3bn healthier – a 63% increase – with pre-taxes profits seeing an eightfold increase from €12.82m in 2014 to €109.57m.

The company's Irish revenues accounted for them half of its global takings of $17.93bn in 2015.

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Independent News & Media (INM) has said it doesn't intend to pay out dividends to shareholders, following its controversial decision to stop paying into a company pension scheme.

The move will lead to workers who hold defined benefit pensions losing up to 30% of their entitlements.

INM says the decision to pull out of the scheme will allow the group to reposition the business by making acquisitions.

The decision has been criticised by government and opposition parties. The Seanad will debate an amendment to the Social Welfare Bill on Tuesday that would make it illegal for solvent companies to wind up workers’ pension schemes.

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Irish broadband service Siro is set to double its workforce as it adds 60 new staff members over the next months.

The venture from Vodafone and ESB will spend €150m on the roll-out of a new fibre-optic broadband network across the country in 2017, which will be available to 500,000 premises in 50 towns nationwide.

Siro has already formed partnerships with BT, Carnsore Broadband, Digiweb, WestNet and Vodafone, with more partners to be added over the coming year.

The company's new offices in Carrickmines, Dublin, were opening by Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor on Monday.

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The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has said the skies above Ireland have had their busiest year on record, with an expected 1.1 million flights in 2016.

By the end of November, flights handled by the IAA were up by nearly 9% on the same 11 months in 2015.

That includes a 10.5% rise in flights to and from Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

The number of flights passing through Irish airspace rose by 8%.