Wesfarmers puts Aldi in tax spotlight

Published in the Herald Sun, June 2015

The chief executive of Colesowner Wesfarmers has called for a review into the financial accounts of German supermarket rival Aldi to ensure it’s paying the correct level of taxes locally.

Richard Goyder told a business lunch in Melbourne that if Aldi and fellow German entrant Lidl were to compete in Australia, they had to do so on a level playing field.

“I suspect they (Aldi) are very profitable. I think someone should look how much taxes Aldi pays in this country,” Mr Goyder said.

Shares in Wesfarmers were up 7c at $40.27, while rival Woolworths shed 44c to $26.86.

It came as the Australian sharemarket recovered from early falls to start the week with a small gain.

Before last week, it had fallen more than 7 per cent since the start of May.

Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham said while yesterday’s gains of 0.2 per cent were very small, with the Greek debt saga weighing on investors, he was bullish about the market.

“We’ve still got a (ASX 200) target for the next few months of 6200,” he said.

“A lot of the top 20 or 50 stocks have been down for six to eight weeks but that started to turn and move up last week.”

The benchmark ASX 200 index closed up 13.2 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5610.2 points while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 11.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5603.1.

Banking and telecommunications stocks were among the best performers.

Commonwealth Bank closed up 55c at $85.02, National Australia Bank climbed 11c to $33.77, ANZ gained 16c to $32.92 and Westpac up 32c at $32.12.

Telstra was up 5c to $6.18, and property stocks were also stronger, with Mirvac Group up 3c at $1.925 and Westfield Shopping Centre operator Scentre 6c better at $3.95.

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