The groceries to garments group Associated British Foods (ABF) said today that it was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the collapse of the Rana Plaza building which killed more than 1100 people in Bangladesh last April.
A supplier to its Primark retail fashion subsidiary occupied the second floor of this eight storey building which was also the location of a number of other garment manufacturers.
Reporting annual revenue up 9% to £13.3bn, pre-tax profits up 13% to £1,096m and a 12% hike in shareholders’ dividends, chief executive George Weston said the company’s response to the tragedy had “focused on meeting the immediate needs of the victims and, in parallel, organising long-term compensation”.
He went on: “We donated food to some 1,300 families shortly after the tragedy, and have since paid short-term financial support of six months’ salary to more than 3,600 workers in the building, irrespective of their employer.” Primark had committed to provide long-term financial compensation to victims who worked for its supplier, and their dependants, he added.
Across the group, Weston said ABF had “again delivered a great set of results. Grocery was much improved, Agriculture achieved record profits, Sugar was in line with our expectations and it was a remarkable year for Primark”.
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013