• Racial redress

    The next adult generation is at risk of being polarised on the basis of skin colour and young white S.Africans stand to be lost at us all.

  • To do list

    Keep separate lists to ensure your to-dos don't get cluttered and gain stress-free productivity, Ian Mann.

  • Clueless leaders

    Zim's leaders are clueless about managing the economy or leading the nation, says Malcom Sharara.

All data is delayed
See More

AB Foods denies tax evasion claims

Feb 11 2013 08:02

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Debt is one of the biggest financial issues facing South Africans today. Find out how you can avoid and manage your debt with Fin24 and Debt Rescue.

Money Clinic

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

Voting Booth

Labour’s call for a cap on salary of high earners is?

Previous results · Suggest a vote