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Frasers Group settles Belgian tax dispute

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, formerly known as Sports Direct International, has settled its tax dispute with Belgian authorities.

In July 2019, Sports Direct revealed that it is facing a €674m (£605m) tax bill from Belgian authorities, who were investigating the group’s movement of goods through the country. 

Today Frasers Group said the Belgian Tax Authority was satisfied with the retailer’s explanation regarding €491m – or 73% – of the total €674m in question and that VAT has been correctly accounted for. 

The retailer said the issue “has been resolved with no payment of VAT liabilities or associated penalties and interest to be made by the company or any member of its group”. 

Frasers Group and its advisers will continue to ”fully engage and work with the Belgian Tax Authority in order to resolve the smaller remaining matters referred to in the proces verbal as soon as possible.”

The Sports Direct Group suffered a 6% fall in underlying EBTIDA to £287.8m in the 52 weeks to 28 April 2019, compared with £306.1m in the same period the previous year. Group revenue at Sports Direct, which also controls French Connection and Flannels, was up 10% to £3.7bn in the same period. 

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