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Kamprad pledges Ikea 'transparency'

Kamprad pledges Ikea 'transparency'

Published: 18 May 2011 13:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 May 2011 13:25 GMT+02:00

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish furnishings giant Ikea, has promised more transparency over the firm's business affairs, saying that it has nothing to hide after a slew of allegations in recent years.

"We have nothing to hide. There is no pretension to hide anything. We are going to go through everything and show that we follow each country's laws and regulations," Ingvar Kamprad, the 85-year-old billionaire who founded Ikea in

1943, told the Expressen daily.

"We will make ourselves more transparent," he said.

Kamprad's comments came a few months after a documentary aired on Swedish

public television, SVT, alleged the secretive foundation that controls the company was set up to avoid taxes.

Expressen reported that the Kamprad family decided Monday at a meeting where the allegations against Ikea were discussed to vow complete transparency.

Kamprad pointed out however that there was a lot of "cleaning up" to take care of, "so I'm not sure when we will be done. Maybe at the end of the year or at the beginning of next year."

Shortly before the SVT documentary aired in January, Kamprad, who had long claimed he no longer controlled the furniture giant, admitted he still held the reins through the previously secret Intergo Foundation.

The flat-pack furniture empire famous for its big blue box warehouses has also been tangled in a bribery scandal in Russia which forced the firing of two top executives at the start of 2010.

Ikea is an unlisted, family-owned company that traditionally does not release regular earnings reports, but has in recent years published occasional figures showing earnings and sales.

In such a report in January this year, it posted a significant hike in net profit in 2010 as sales rose, especially in China, Russia and Portugal.

The group, which at the end of last year counted 127,000 employees, said Europe accounted for 79 percent of sales, with North America making up 15 percent and the Asia-Australia region the rest.

Kamprad, who started Ikea as a teenager, has lived in Switzerland since 1976 to avoid Sweden's steep wealth taxes.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:14 May 18, 2011 by swedejane
"We vow transparency...now that we've been caught." Whatever...I wouldn't trust this guy any further than I could throw one of those junk Ikea closets.
22:07 May 18, 2011 by jack sprat
Probably saving up towards the next Nazi uprising.

Somehow I doubt if the leopard hs changed its spots.
09:18 May 19, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
The Local just loves that word "slew".
15:02 May 19, 2011 by GLO
WOW !!!! This guy invented a business, and you jokers think he owes you anything. This is NUTS !!!!
18:59 May 19, 2011 by prince T
I dont know why people hate this man. his brain have created 10 thousand jobs in sweden alone. It is his money and he is not a government official. He owes no one any apology. We should infact be grateful and desire to have more like him here. We pushed him out of the country because of our stupid tax. If he was resident in sweden, he would not be among the richest in the world.
12:05 May 23, 2011 by jomamas
Only in Sweden, would the nations population question and hamper probably the most productive, positive, influential and economically important company in the country - that is respected worldwide.

That guy created 100K jobs out of thin air.

He should be the nations greatest hero.

Or perhaps he should shut it all down and have those people live on welfare?

Sweden = Suicide
07:21 June 18, 2011 by rufus.t.firefly
It doesn't mention that Ikea is registered as a tax free charitable organization, although its charitable activities are negligible. I wonder if any of his adamant defenders here have any thoughts about that? You guys should try that and see how it works out for you.

Don't you think Ikea should pay its fair share of the tax burden, which has been shifted down the income scale to people like us and employees of Ikea? It wouldn't be painful for Ikea, but it would relieve pain for the rest of us and increase the level of public services.

While Ikea has a positive side, its founder and owner Ingvar Kamprad should not be able to live in a privileged legal universe, separatefrom mere mortals like us.
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