Mon December 30 02:00 pm 2013 in category Stock exchange releases
Nokian Tyres plc Stock Exchange Release 30 Dec 2013, 2:00 p.m.

Nokian Tyres received EUR 26.9 million additional payable tax in Finland; the company will make a complaint against the decision

Nokian Tyres plc has on 30 Dec 2013 received a reassessment decision from the Tax Administration, according to which the Company is obliged to pay EUR 26.9 million additional taxes with punitive tax increases and interests concerning tax year 2007. Payment must be made in January 2014. The total sum demanded by the tax authorities is EUR 26.9 million, of which EUR 16.0 million are additional taxes and EUR 10.9 million punitive tax increases and interests. The Company will record them in full to the financial statement and result of year 2013.

Large Taxpayers’ Office carried out a transfer pricing tax audit regarding tax years 2007-2011, investigating if the intercompany transactions between Nokian Tyres plc and its subsidiaries were concluded based on market prices. Reassessment decisions regarding 2008-2011 have not been received yet. The Tax Administration states in the reasoning of its decision concerning 2007, that the transfer pricing was market-based with all other but the Russian subsidiaries. According to Tax Authorities the success of Russian business is not based on the modern and efficient production plant in Russia combined with the sales and logistic network covering whole Russia. Tax Administration considers the Russian plant as a low risk contract manufacturer. The Tax Administration has ruled that a significant part of the Russian subsidiaries' profits should be added to Nokian Tyres’ taxable income in Finland. In practice this leads to double taxation of income, which is contrary to existing tax agreements.

Nokian Tyres plc has consistently applied transfer pricing according to tax laws prevailing at the time. The Company has prepared a transfer pricing documentation which the Tax Administration has ignored during the tax audit. The Company considers the reassessment decision of the Tax Administration as unfounded and is going to appeal against it by leaving the claim for rectification to the Board of Adjustment and, if necessary, the Company will continue the appeal process in the Administrative Court. If needed, the Company will also require the competent authorities to negotiate on the elimination of the double taxation. The Company is also considering a separate process to determine the legality of the procedures used in the tax audit by Tax Administration and tax inspectors.

The Tax Administration's ruling does not affect the company's dividend distribution. The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that the dividend per share for the year 2013 would be at least on the previous year’s level.

If the claim to the Administrative Court does not lead to annulment of the tax decision, the Group's corporate tax rate is expected to rise in the next 5 years, from the previously announced 17 per cent to maximum 22 per cent.

Nokian Tyres' management and the Board are disappointed with the Tax Administration’s ruling. CFO Anne Leskelä: "We have attempted to make every effort to assist the Tax Authorities to understand the operations of the Group and our Russian business. Previous tax audit in the company ended to fiscal year 2006, and in its tax audit report the Tax Administration did not require any corrections to the transfer pricing between the company and its subsidiaries already operating at that time in Russia. The interpretation that the Tax Administration has now made does not contribute to the predictability of taxation. When enforced, the decision would force the company to consider carefully how the Group's businesses will be organized. In any case, the process will take years, and will require Company’s efforts and resources."

Nokian Tyres plc

Antti-Jussi Tähtinen
VP, Marketing and communications

Further information:
Mrs. Anne Leskelä, CFO, tel: +358 10 401 7481
Mr. Kim Gran, President and CEO, tel: +358 10 401 7336

Distribution: NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, media, www.nokiantyres.com