Coffee chain Starbucks has pledged to pay £10m in taxes over the next two years as it has bowed to consumer pressure over revelations that it has paid no corporation tax in the past three years.
Starbucks said it would make payments "above those required by the law" following a backlash after it emerged that the group paid just £8.6m in corporation tax since arriving in the UK 14 years ago, despite sales of £3b.
Addressing the London Chamber of Commerce, Kris Engskov, managing director of Starbucks UK, said even if the company made no profit, it would still make the "unprecedented payment" to HM Revenue and Customs as it is the "right thing to do".
He said the company would consider extending its commitment beyond 2013 and 2014 if it was still not generating substantial profits. Engskov added that Starbucks had been surprised by the "emotion of the issue" about tax.
"These decisions are the right things for us to do. We've heard that loud and clear from our customers," he said.
Engskov added that the UK is the "most competitive espresso market in the world" and that Starbucks had "not performed to its expectations" over the years it has been trading here.
By Kerstin Kühn
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