Kalms in farewell swipe at the City

Sir Stanley Kalms made his final farewell as chairman of Dixons at the electrical group's annual shareholders' meeting yesterday, though his departure was upstaged by a glittering party given in his honour the night before.

At a champagne celebration at Claridge's, in London, Sir Stanley used his valedictory speech to take a swipe at the City and the media. He even had a dig at his boardroom colleagues for "promoting" him to honorary president.

He ribbed David Mayhew, the chairman of Dixons' long-term stockbrokers Cazenove, about exorbitant City fees. He said: "My friend David Mayhew has since bought a fabulous dairy herd and has named the most productive cow Stanley. I am reliably informed that when David does not reach his sales forecast he gets solace milking Stanley."

Later, the ardent Conservative Party supporter said he was expecting a special guest in Iain Duncan Smith but that he was not here yet. At that point a deep female voice boomed out: "He may not be here but I certainly I am." It was Baroness Thatcher.

After such a riotous farewell, yesterday's AGM was something of an anti-climax for Sir Stanley, who is retiring at the age of 70 after running the company for 54 years. Sir Stanley seemed in irritable mood, chastising shareholders for poor questions.

When one shareholder asked about the performance of Wanadoo shares following Dixons' sale of its Freeserve business to the French group last year, Sir Stanley said "you should look it up".

Sir Stanley gave a short speech saying: "They say farewell is such sweet sorrow. I wish you good health and good fortune."

Mark Souhami, Dixons' deputy chairman and Sir Stanley's close ally for 30 years, paid a tribute to the man who took Dixons from a single photographic studio to Britain's biggest electricals retailer.

He described Sir Stanley's stewardship of the company since the age of 16 as "the stuff of business legend". He added that £1,000 invested in Dixons when it floated in 1962 would be worth £1.2m today if rights issues had been taken up. An equivalent investment in the FTSE All Share index would be worth £115,000. Sir Stanley was given a standing ovation.

A trading statement showed like-for-like sales in the 19 weeks to 8 September were 6 per cent up on last year. But gross margins were lower due partly to lower mobile phone margins. The shares closed 3.75p lower at 177.25p.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments