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In November 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the L'Occitane Annual Report 2020 which contained information on director pay. It stated that the CEO Reinold Geiger had been paid a total of €1,022,000 in 2020. This equated to just under £1million, the threshold at which Ethical Consumer marked company's down for excessive pay. However in March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the L'Occitane 2019 Annual Report and found that director and CEO Reinold Geiger was paid a total of €2million in 2019 which did equate to over £1 million. As a director had recently been paid an annual figure over £1 million, the company lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.


Annual Report 2019 (2019)

In November 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed L'Occitane Group’s corporate family tree on the company's 2020 Annual Report and on the corporate database D&B Hoovers. The company’s Ultimate Holding Company (UHC), L’Occitane International SA, was registered in Luxembourg. L’Occitane was not considered to be a company that originated from Luxembourg and Luxembourg is listed as a jurisdiction considered by Ethical Consumer to be a tax haven. This was ahigh risk company structure for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies.

The company also had a number of high-risk subsidiaries in known tax havens, such as:
- L’Occitane (Far East) Limited (Hong Kong)
- Duolab International Sàrl (Switzerland)

An internet search using the search terms “L’Occitane tax policy statement country” found no country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR). The company did have a UK tax policy which stated: "L’Occitane Group has a low tolerance toward tax risks and do not undertake transactions led by a tax planning purpose. L’Occitane Group supports initiatives to improve international transparency on taxation matters, including Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) measures on Country-by-Country reporting and automatic information exchange". This was not considered a clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes, including a narrative explanation of what each entity located in a tax haven was for, demonstrating that it was not being used for tax minimisation.

Given that L’Occitane’s UHC was registered in a jurisdictions considered by Ethical Consumer to be a tax haven and the company had two or more high risk subsidiaries in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's tax haven list, and no country-by-country financial information, nor adequate policy statement and narrative explanation, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a full mark under the Tax Conduct category.


Annual Report 2020 (9 November 2020)