Sainsbury’s King pockets £8m

Marion Dakers
BRITISH supermarket Sainsbury’s paid its chief executive Justin King £7.6m in cash, benefits and deferred shares last year.

King received £1.1m in bonus payments, amounting to 120 per cent of his salary, as well £4.2m through exercising share options, £990k in new deferred shares, a £900k basic salary and a pension supplement of £270k, according to the firm’s annual report.

His pay has risen by 60 per cent on last year, though the remuneration committee said it had been “mindful of the current economic climate” by freezing basic salaries for directors.

Finance director Darren Shapland picked up a £1.5m package plus deferred shares, while trading director Mike Coupe earned £1.4m in basic pay, the figures showed.

Total boardroom pay reached £7.1m.

The board oversaw a strong year for the grocer, which put on 1m extra customers to serve 19m per week. It increased its market share in the UK by 0.2 per cent, to 16.1 per cent.

The company’s expansion plans continued despite tough conditions, with over 100 shops opened or extended to create 6,500 jobs and increase overall shop floor space by nearly seven per cent.

Underlying pre-tax profit outstripped expectations by rising 17 per cent, helped in part by a jump in sales by more than five per cent, to £21.4bn. Like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose by 4.3 per cent, ahead of the grocer’s forecasts.

A non-executive bonus pool of £80m will be shared between the group’s 127,000 employees.

Shares remained fairly stable following the release of the report, closing down 0.6 per cent at 321.5p.