Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has agreed to pay the British Revenue & Customs (HRMC) $786m to settle a long-standing tax dispute.

By agreeing to resolve claims dating between 1996 and 2010, AstraZeneca said it was able to upgrade its earnings outlook for 2010 from $5.75–6.15 to $5.90–6.30 per share to reflect this lower than expected tax rate.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay £505m to HMRC to resolve all claims made by HMRC in relation to this issue for the 15-year period from 1996 to the end of 2010.

An AstraZeneca statement said that the company had provided in its accounts for the outcome of this issue, at the heart of which are complex transfer price considerations that have taken many years to resolve.