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Primark escapes Bangladesh tragedy to report massive rise on sales

The budget clothing company saw a 22 per cent rise in year-on-year sales despite the Rana Plaza accident

Less than three months ago it was the focus of international outrage, yet despite involvement in the collapse of a Bangladeshi factory that killed more than 1,120 workers Primark has reported a massive rise in sales.

The tragedy at Rana Plaza on 24 April sparked a flurry of condemnation of the brand’s use of cheap, poorly-regulated Indian labour.

However, the clothes retailer recorded a year-on-year sales increase of 22 per cent to the end of June, owing to “marked improvement” in sales during May and June.

Sales at Primark grew 20 per cent in the 16 weeks to June 22, which was  at a slower pace than the first half of the year when total Primark sales rose 24 per cent.

In a statement to coincide with this morning’s results, the budget apparel chain said it was "deeply saddened by the tragic events caused by the building collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in April where one of Primark’s suppliers was located on the second floor".

The company appears to have limited the fallout from the tragedy by responding with humanitarian aid for the affected area.

Primark has reportedly donated food 1,300 families, paid short-term financial compensation to more than 3,300 workers irrespective of their employer and pledged long-term support for those in the employ of Primark suppliers.

A month after the accident, a spokesman said: “The company was the first brand to acknowledge that its suppliers were housed in the Rana Plaza complex. The company was the first brand to commit to paying compensation to workers and their dependents. And the company was the first UK brand to sign up to the accord on building and fire safety.”