Primark's 26,000 retail assistants in Britain are to get an inflation-beating average pay rise of 12% from April 1, the fashion retailer said on Thursday.

Primark, part of the Associated British Foods conglomerate, said retail workers will be paid a minimum of 11 pounds ($13.59) an hour, or 11.51 pounds an hour in London.

The UK government-mandated National Living Wage will rise to 10.42 pounds an hour from April, an increase of 9.7%.

With UK inflation rising to 10.4% in February, the Bank of England is watching pay settlements closely as it weighs any further rises in interest rates.

Primark's UK retail director Kari Rodgers said the latest rise "reflects our commitment to continue to invest in our people and our stores as we continue to grow.”

The retailer plans to invest 140 million pounds in the UK high street over the next two years, including the opening of at least four new stores.

Last month, AB Foods raised its financial guidance for full year 2022-23, saying consumer spending had proven to be more resilient than it expected.

Food retailers Tesco ,Asda and Marks & Spencer have also all recently announced staff pay rises. ($1 = 0.8093 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by William James)