Salesforce claims Brexit cost it £65 million

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The tech giant is investing more into Ireland as it looks to bypass UK sales and the "volatile" pound

Salesforce has stopped registering some European sales in the UK due to how volatile the pound has become since Brexit.

The software giant said it lost $79 million (£65 million) in 2019 due to the country's planned exit from the European Union.

The company announced it has "started to implement initiatives" to bypass its UK sales office, such as charging customers directly from local offices in France and Germany, as well as investing resources in Dublin that could "partially mitigate the impact" Brexit has on its operations. 

"Revenues in Europe were negatively impacted by approximately $79 million in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 as a result of the strengthening British Pound Sterling," the company wrote in its annual report

"We recognise that there are still significant uncertainties surrounding the ultimate resolution of Brexit negotiations, and we will continue to monitor any changes that may arise and assess their potential impact on our business."

Brexit was a big business concern at the start of the year, and though it's since been overshadowed by the global coronavirus pandemic, it's still very much an issue. Salesforce's European business accounts for roughly a fifth of its annual revenue, which came in at $17 billion in 2019,

The company had previously revealed plans to increase its Irish workforce to around 3,000 staff over five years, but that could be accelerated based on its own findings. It currently has around 2,000 employees in the UK, according to reports. 

Recently the company has seen a number of leadership changes, such as co-CEO Kieth Block stepping down in August and Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia leaving after just six months as the UK chief executive.

At the end of April, Salesforce was also forced to cancel its annual tech conference, Dreamforce, which was due to take place in November. 

"As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our first priority is to help ensure the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and communities," the company said.

"With this in mind, we have decided to reimagine our events through the end of the year in new and virtual ways. This will be true for all events, including Dreamforce, Tableau Conference 2020, Tableau Conference Europe, TrailheaDX India and our World Tours."

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