Amazon paid just £15m in tax on European revenues of £19.5bn, writes The Guardian.The figures, published in Amazon’s latest annual accounts for its European online retail business, are likely to reignite the debate about US tech companies using complex crossborder arrangements to minimise the tax they pay across the continent. Separately, Amazon UK Services – the company’s warehouse and logistics operation that employs almost two-thirds of its 24,000 UK staff – more than halved its declared UK corporation tax bill from £15.8m to £7.4m year-on-year in 2016.
The BBC notes taxes are paid on profit not turnover. It paid lower taxes because it made lower profits. Last year it made £48m in profit - this year it made only £24m so it paid £7m tax compared to £15m. It explores why profits were lower – noting it partly relates to how it pays its staff partly in shares, meaning share price rises increase its staff expenses and reduce profits.
Thousands of Asda workers are facing redundancy or a dramatic cut in their working hours as Britain’s third-largest supermarket chain looks to cut costs. Asda has begun a consultation with 3,257 employees in 18 underperforming stores, singled out as overstaffed relative to their current sales performance. (The Guardian)
Expansion into emerging markets and efforts to cut costs are already bubbling up as profits for Coca Cola HBC. For a company with a market capitalisation of €8.7bn, acquiring Coca-Cola’s African bottling operations would be a transformative deal. It would push up leverage — Barclays estimates to 2.6 times ebitda, based on a majority stake. But Coca-Cola HBC could stomach that. It should go where the customers are. (The Financial Times £)
The Co-operative Bank suffered a customer exodus in the first half of the year as its future appeared to hang in the balance, the lender said yesterday as it reported a £135m loss for the period (The Times £). Struggling Co-op Bank saw its losses narrow 24% to £135m in the first half of the year despite thousands of customers closing their accounts amid fears over its future (The Telegraph). The Co-operative Bank has seen thousands of customers leave amid uncertainty ahead of its most recent rescue deal (The Daily Mail).
Four supermarkets have withdrawn products from their shelves as it emerged that 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated in a contamination scare had been distributed to Britain (The Guardian). Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms linked to a contamination scare have been sent to the UK - far more than the 21,000 first estimated (Sky News). The EU’s food safety commissioner has called for an urgent meeting of ministers and regulators to discuss the scandal over contaminated eggs (The BBC).
City analysts cooked up a treat for Greggs, telling the market that the bakery chain has a number of options in the mix which would help to ensure that sales continue to rise. (The Times £)
Futures prices for a wide range of grains fell sharply on Thursday in the US as positive forecasts from the US Department of Agriculture drove investors off bets that yields for crops including wheat, corn and soybeans would come up short. (The Financial Times £)