UK: Asda defends Wal-Mart royalty payments
Asda stood by royalty payments to Wal-Mart
Asda has defended royalty payments made to parent Wal-Mart after reports over the weekend highlighted the money transferred to the US retail giant.
The Sunday Times said Asda had paid almost GBP780m (US$1.25bn) to Wal-Mart over the last seven years. It reported the payments reduced Asda's profits and claimed had cut the UK's second-largest retailer's tax bill by nearly GBP250m.
The newspaper said the payments meant Asda had joined the likes of Apple and eBay in having their "avoidance of tax" under scrutiny.
However, an Asda spokesperson told just-food: "I'd like to make it clear that there is no question as to whether Asda is under scrutiny over the avoidance of tax. We are not. We paid GBP163m in corporation tax in 2011 and have paid over GBP886m in the last five years.
The GM debate has re-emerged in the UK in the last couple of weeks with the news four major supermarket operators will allow their suppliers to use GM feed for poultry and eggs....
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