Tuesday, 23 February 2010
AstraZeneca today announced that the company has settled a long-running transfer pricing issue with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay £505m to HMRC to resolve all claims made by HMRC in relation to this issue for the 15-year period from 1996 to the end of 2010. The payment will be made by a first instalment of £350m in March 2010, and a second final instalment of £155m in March 2011. As a result of this agreement, the joint referral of this issue to the UK Tax Court by AstraZeneca and HMRC, as disclosed in the 2008 Annual Report, will be withdrawn.
The settlement also resolves certain other outstanding UK tax matters.
As previously disclosed, AstraZeneca has provided in its accounts for the outcome of this issue, at the heart of which are complex transfer price considerations that have taken many years to resolve. As a consequence of the settlement of this issue and other tax matters, AstraZeneca will release part of its provision to earnings.
As a result of this release, the group tax rate for 2010 will be approximately two percentage points lower than previous guidance. AstraZeneca has increased its 2010 target for core earnings per share from $5.75-$6.15 to $5.90-$6.30 per share to reflect this lower expected tax rate.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of US $32.8 billion in 2009. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com.
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