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Primark revenue 'a fraction' off £5bn as it plots US expansion following 'magnificent' year

Primark has noted a 30 per cent increase in operating profit to £662m.

The chairman of Associated British Foods, the owner of Primark, hailed it as a “magnificent” year, with revenues for the discount retailer falling just shy of £5bn (£4.95bn) versus £4.27bn a year previous.

While retailers like John Lewis have lamented the unseasonably warm weather for sales dips, Primark reported sales for the first six weeks of the new financial year up 10 per cent.

Annual sales were up 17 per cent year on year.

Chief executive, George Weston said “a strong store opening programme, excellent buying, and higher sales densities in new stores” all came together to drive revenues with improved margin.

Primark now operates in nine countries, having entered the French market earlier this year.

“We were delighted by the success of these French stores, both for the size of the crowds on opening days, which were overwhelming, but more importantly for the tremendous customer enthusiasm for Primark, in very different cities, which was sustained throughout the rest of the year,” Weston added.

Primark has planned to establish itself in the north-east of the US, with the first stores expected to open late in 2015 and with up to 10 stores by the end of 2016.

“We have chosen stores which are located close to areas of high urban density and which benefit from high levels of existing customer footfall. Our strategy is to generate interest in, and awareness of, the Primark brand,” added Weston.

Primark also noted that £7.51m in compensation had been committed to workers and families of the victims of the Rana Plaza factory accident last year.

The Bangladeshi factory collapsed killed over 1100 workers, with Primark stating that many were making garments for its competitors at the time of the accident.

However, it said it was "committed to meeting its responsibilities in full and to paying long-term compensation to the workers employed by its supplier or their dependants".

"The safety of the staff employed by our suppliers is a high priority. We have now undertaken structural assessments of all of our supplier factories in Bangladesh.”

Weston continued: “Primark carried out building surveys in Bangladesh to assess the structural integrity of all of the 80 factories from which we source garments. These structural assessments will be extended to other countries shortly.”

Last month Primark rolled out its 'What a Christmas' activity acorss the UK.

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