Founded in 1885, Desmond & Sons is now one of Northern Ireland’s largest privately owned companies. It makes clothing and, in 2001, employed more than 5,000 people worldwide, mainly in Britain, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
The company produces clothes for men, women and children, and has been one of Marks & Spencer’s top clothing suppliers for 60 years. Profits have grown 37% a year from £3.7m in 1998 to £9.7m in 2001, when Desmond & Sons had 2,057 UK staff, mainly at its nine factories in Northern Ireland.
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