Chocolate haven: Cadbury parent company pays no UK corporation tax

© Alessia Pierdomenic
Cadbury’s parent company Mondelez International has avoided paying millions of pounds in corporation tax since its takeover of the beloved UK chocolate manufacturer in 2010.

Despite amassing some £2 billion (US$3 billion) in revenue, including a £96.5 million profit in 2014, Cadbury UK paid no UK corporation tax in a perfectly legal tax avoidance arrangement, the Sunday Times reports.

The company used interest payments on unsecured debt, listed as a bond on the Channel Islands’ stock exchange, to offset gains made elsewhere in the company.

In the decade running up to the £11.5 billion takeover, the company reportedly had tax avoidance schemes in place and was paying an average of just £6.4 million per year, according to the Financial Times.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chair of a cross-party group on responsible tax, said the Quakers who founded Cadbury would be “turning in their grave.”

“Cadbury has a proud history of investing in its communities. Yet this American company is avoiding taxes while using our workforce and infrastructure. It is selfish in the extreme and shows contempt for the people who buy their goods.”

Mondelez International said in a statement: “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, working closely with the relevant authorities, and on a global basis we pay hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate income tax annually.

“Since 2010 we are very proud to have invested over £200 million into the UK across our world leading innovation, science and manufacturing sites and our 4,500 UK employees.”

After Cadbury’s acquisition by Kraft (the multinational snack giant that reinvented itself as Mondelez in 2012), Cadbury has faced a backlash for a slew of perceived offences ranging from changing the chocolate in the classic Cadbury Crème Egg to closing down UK factories and laying off workers, including the slashing of 200 jobs at the Bourneville factory in Birmingham earlier this year.