PURVEYOR of coffee, muffins, sticky buns and frappuccinos Starbucks has managed to turn a taxable profit in the UK for the first time since 1998.
The Seattle-based coffee house has become synonymous with corporate tax avoidance by multinational companies, and has been repeatedly censured for its tax structure, shifting cash offshore in order to lower its bill – something it has always vehemently contested.
In 2013, it agreed to pay £20m in tax contributions and in 2014 it moved its European headquarters from Amsterdam to London.
Starbucks said it booked a profit of £1.06m in the year to September 2014, while in the previous year it recorded a £20.5m loss, closing shops with high rents, improving service and rolling out its higher quality Reserve coffee range.
The profit means it paid £11.4m in total, up from £3.7m in 2013.
UK boss Mark Fox said: “The strong performance is the result of a turnaround stategy that has focused on engaging with our employees, giving customers more, growing the business and improving our model by rebalancing the store portfolio and carefully managing costs.”
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