SABMiller plc responds to ActionAid’s report on tax in developing markets
26 November 2010
SABMiller strongly rejects the allegations made by ActionAid in its recent report on the group's tax affairs. SABMiller does not engage in aggressive tax planning in any part of its operations, and the report includes a number of flawed and inaccurate assumptions.
Compliance with tax laws underpins all of our corporate governance practices. We actively engage with revenue authorities and we are open and transparent with our affairs. We follow all transfer pricing regulations within the countries in which we operate and the principles of the OECD guidelines.
SABMiller is a major direct investor, employer and tax payer in Africa, and our economic contribution to the continent is substantial. In 2009/10 we invested more than US$500 million in Africa and further expanded our operations with new breweries or acquisitions in Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia.
SABMiller companies pay a significant level of tax. In the year ended 31 March 2010, the group reported US$2,929 million in pre-tax profit and group revenue of US$26,350 million. During the same period our total tax contribution remitted to governments, including corporate tax, excise tax, VAT and employee taxes, was just under US$7,000 million. Seven times that paid to shareholders. This amount is split between developed countries (23%) and developing countries (77%). In both Colombia and South Africa, we contributed over US$1,000 million in taxation to each respective government's revenues.
In the past ActionAid has made some constructive contributions to the debate on tax. SABMiller supports ActionAid's recommendations regarding improved management of taxation in developing countries, including greater investment in the capability of local tax authorities and that business should be taxed fairly. ActionAid's ‘Accounting for Poverty' report states: "Governments should aim to strike an optimal balance between raising revenue and attracting investment that benefits poor people when setting corporate tax rates and offering tax incentives." SABMiller agrees, but we do not believe that they undertook this particular piece of research in the same spirit.
SABMiller is committed to supporting economic growth, social development and environmental protection in all of the countries in which we operate. Indeed, it is only by doing so that we will succeed as a business now and in the future.
For more information on extensive research in both South Africa and Uganda on our economic impact, see links below:
Notes to editors
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch, as well as leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie. SABMiller is also one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.
In the year ended 31 March 2010, the group reported US$3,803 million adjusted pre-tax profit and group revenue of US$26,350 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
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