INDIA: Diageo gets customs visit
Diageo India's head offices have been visited by customs and revenue officials in the country.
A spokesperson for Diageo told just-drinks today (18 November): "We can confirm that the Diageo office in Mumbai, India, was visited on Tuesday (17 November) by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence."
He added that "discussions are now taking place with our local management team".
The drinks giant, owner of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, declined to comment on the purpose of the visit or the discussions.
A report in India's Economic Times newspaper cited unidentified sources as saying that the company is under investigation for possible tax evasion.
In July, Indian business publication Livemint.com reported that Diageo faced a write-down charge in its full-year results in connection with an internal inquiry launched by the firm into mismanagement of funds in its India business.
At the time, the drinks giant said it would "not comment on speculation or rumour".
Diageo India net sales fell by 3% in the group's most recent fiscal year, the 12 months to the end of June. "Inappropriately high stock levels across many brands at 31 December 2008 were destocked in the second half," said Diageo in its 2009 annual report.
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