Oriflame has confirmed that Russian authorities have seized papers from its Russian headquarters in Moscow as part of an ongoing tax probe in the country.
According to the Russian authorities, the tax investigators are trying to establish whether or not taxes amounting to as much as 3 billion rubles were paid during the period 2006 to 2010.
Currently the company’s biggest market is Russia, which accounts for more than half of its annual income, which currently accounts for approximately €1.5bn in revenues derived from over 60 countries worldwide.
Nothing to hide
In an official statement, the company said it was visited by police at various locations in the Moscow area as part of the investigation, which came without warning.
“The event came as a complete surprise to the company as it has been fully co-operating with the authorities since the beginning of the investigation,” a company spokesperson said in the statement.
The first investigation into the alleged taxation discrepancies happened several years ago, but according to the company several independent taxation experts had concluded that nothing was improper in Oriflame’s practices during the period and that its taxation level was high.
Oriflame says it is confident
“The potential claims are included in the previously reported contingent liabilities. So far the investigations have not led to a final opinion from the tax authorities and the Company remains confident in this investigation as well as in its tax position in Russia in general,” the statement added.
Meanwhile the company says it is assisting the taxation authorities with its investigation, while trying to ascertain exactly why the investigation has been re-opened.
Oriflame share prices dropped 7% when the news broke earlier in the week, but have since partially recovered, closing at €143.80 a share in trading yesterday.