Angry Birds makers plan Irish move

Finnish games company Rovio is fed up with having to pay so much of its profits to the government that that it is considering moving its headquarters to Ireland.

Chief executive Mikael Hed, of the company which brought the world the Angry Birds game,  said Rovio’s turnover grew to €75 million last year from €10 million the previous year, and less than €1 million the year prior to that.

The only problem is that the Finnish tax man is extremely interested in getting a slice of the action to help his country pay for health, welfare and education.

Hed told The Irish Times that the company’s profits before tax and other charges was more than 60 percent of its income.

Rovio employs 400 people, mostly in Finland, but apparently is in talks with the Irish government to see if it can establish headquarters there. That way it would not only save money on its tax bill, but would get sweeteners from the government to move over.

Hed said that the Irish authorities have been very active and Rovio had been promoting that idea.

Speaking in Monaco, where he is a contestant in the Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year awards, he said that for now Rovio has stayed in Finland but a move to a wetter, if warmer climate is high on the company’s mind.

The plan is that that only some of the company would move. It would be natural to have some production in Ireland, but it would be mostly the companies head office.

The corporation tax rate in Finland is 24.5 percent, while Ireland’s rate is 12.5 per cent. Google and Facebook, have set up European headquarters in Dublin so as to benefit from Ireland’s low corporation tax rate.