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Coffee shop giant pledges to pay more in tax

STARBUCKS has said it will pay more tax in the UK as it moves its European headquarters here from the ­Netherlands following a row over avoidance.

The coffee shop chain was hit by a customer boycott two years ago in protest over its tax payments.

It will relocate its regional head office from Amsterdam to London by the end of the year.

A "modest" number of senior executives will move to London so the firm will be "better able to oversee the UK market", Starbucks said in a statement.

The regional offices of its Middle East and Africa businesses will also be moved to the UK capital.

The company said: "Today, our largest and fastestgrowing European market is the UK. As the coffee industry has grown, the UK and London specifically has become one of the most competitive coffee markets in the world.

"In the UK alone, we plan to open over 100 retail stores across the country this year, creating 1000 new, permanent jobs. We expect continued growth in other European markets as well. This move will mean we pay more tax in the UK."

Kris Engskov, Starbucks' president of Europe, the Middle East and Asia, said: "Closer proximity to our biggest market will be critical to our success."

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