US giant Mondelez, which owns Cadbury, paid no corporation tax in the UK last year, despite its British operation making a £96.5 million ($145.74 million) profit last year.
An investigation by the Sunday Times found Mondelez is wiping out Cadbury’s bills using interest payments on unsecured debt, which can be offset as a loss against gains made elsewhere. The debt is listed as a bond on the Channel Islands’ stock exchange and is part of the Mondelez group.
The tax efficient structure is perfectly legal but controversial, as it means Mondelez is shifting its profits outside of the UK to get around tax.
MP Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the House of Commons all-party group on responsible tax, slammed Mondelez for its set up.
She told the Sunday Times: “Multinationals like this are deliberately exporting their profits with artificial company structures to avoid tax. The founders of Cadbury who set it up as an ethical company will be turning in their graves.”
Cadbury’s founding family were social reformers who built a village near its factory in Birmingham to “alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions.”
Cadbury’s making top selling chocolate bars such as Dairy Milk, Bournville, Time Out, Wispa, Twirl, Flake, and Crunchie.
Mondelez, which was spun out of Kraft Food in 2012, bought Cadbury for £11.5 billion ($17.3 billion) in 2010. The deal was controversial at the time and has proved to be since, after Kraft went back on job cut promises made during negotiations on the deal.
In common with all global businesses, we pay corporation tax based on the laws of the countries in which we operate.
We comply with all applicable tax legislation in the UK, and on a global basis we pay hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate income tax annually. Since 2010 we are proud to have invested over £200 million into both UK-based manufacturing and R&D supporting our 4,500 employees in the UK.