• 10 tips to find bargains

    Susan Erasmus gives advice on how bargain hunters can get the most bang for their buck.

  • Inside Labour

    Labour's bitter breaches need to be seen in historical context, says Terry Bell.

  • Rich getting richer

    Economists differ on how to tackle the chasm between rich and poor, says Leopold Scholtz.

See More

AB Foods denies tax evasion claims

Feb 11 2013 08:02 Reuters

(File) (Shutterstock)

Related Articles

Investors to shun tax evading firms

Italy fights tax evasion on YouTube

Africa to discuss tax fraud

Vodafone in new £1bn UK tax 'scandal'

Sars: Large companies avoiding tax in SA

UK cracks down on tax dodging firms


London - Associated British Foods denied any "illegal or immoral" activities aimed at avoiding tax after an international charity said the British firm had moved profits out of Zambia to reduce its tax bill.

ActionAid said Zambia Sugar, a unit of FTSE 100 company AB Foods, had made profits of $123m since 2007 but had paid "virtually no corporate tax" in Zambia.

It also said in a report entitled 'Sweet Nothings' that the owner of the Twinings tea and Silver Spoon sugar brands had found legal ways to move $83.7m, or a third of the unit's pre-tax profits, out of Zambia to avoid tax.

AB Foods said in a statement on its website on Sunday that its Zambian unit "denies emphatically that it is engaged in anything illegal, immoral or in any way designed to reduce the tax rightly payable to the Zambian government

The UK company, which also owns clothing retailer Primark, said it does not engage in aggressive tax planning in Zambia

"The group has an open and transparent relationship with all the tax authorities in the jurisdictions in which it operates," the statement said.

For the year ending 31 March 2012, the unit's effective tax rate was 30.3% according to AB Foods. The group has paid £120m in taxes over the last five years and collected another £180m in employment and sales taxes, it said.

ActionAid responded by saying it was standing by its report.

"None of (AB Foods') arguments seem to stack up or tell the whole story," said Chris Jordan on Sunday, a co-author of the report which concluded a year-long investigation.

Tax avoidance by corporations legally channeling profits between international subsidiaries, a mechanism known as transfer pricing, has become a hot political issue with firms like Starbucks, Google and Amazon facing protests and political pressure.  

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

corruption  |  fraud  |  tax evasion



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Brought to you by BizNews

More from BizNews

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!


Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How do you see your boss? He/sheis:

Previous results · Suggest a vote