LONDON (Reuters) – British sportswear retailer Frasers (L:), formerly Sports Direct , has been informed by the Belgian Tax Authority it is satisfied with the firm’s explanation regarding the bulk of queries over sales tax of 674 million euros ($747.7 million), it said on Thursday.
The tax issue first came to light when Frasers, which is majority owned by Mike Ashley, reported 2018-19 results in July.
“The Tax Authority has now confirmed in writing that it has completed its review of Matter 1 and that it is satisfied with the explanation provided,” Frasers said.
It said “Matter 1” accounted for 491 million euros, or 73%, of the total 674 million euros the tax authority is reviewing.
Frasers said it is not required to make any payment to the authority regarding this part of the review.
The group said it had made some historical clerical reporting errors and would continue to fully engage with the tax authority in order to resolve “the smaller remaining matters”.
“Frasers Group management still believe that it is less than probable that material VAT and penalties will be due in Belgium as a result of the tax audit.”
Shares in Frasers were up 1.1% at 0840 GMT, taking gains over the last year to 80%.
Ashley owns 63.3% of the equity, according to Refinitiv data.
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