Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland braced for shareholders fury over 'excessive' pay

 

Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland will come under pressure tomorrow from frustrated shareholders over “excessive” pay and disappointing sales figures.

Despite efforts to pull in customers with celebrity-laden adverts, featuring the likes of actresses Joanna Lumley and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and popstar Gary Barlow, the group is expected to reveal its worst quarterly trading performance in three years.

But still Dutchman Mr Bolland saw his basic annual package rise by 4% last year to £1.7 million and could reportedly take home as much as £6 million including bonuses and long-term incentives.

Advisory group Pensions Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) has recommended shareholders abstain on voting on the group's remuneration report at its annual meeting in London tomorrow.

The meeting comes as M&S's market value slipped behind its smaller rival Next for the first time as City investors worry that the retailer is losing female customers to rivals.

Shares in M&S, which has more than 700 stores, have fallen about 15% since March giving it a market cap - the total value of all shares - of £5.19 billion.

Next, which has fewer shops, no food business and fewer customers, has a market value of £5.24 billion, although its chief executive Lord Wolfson has played down the moment.

M&S has borne the brunt of falling high street spending in recent months as it competes with frenzied levels of promotions.

Pirc said awards made last year were "excessive" at twice the level of salaries, despite the retailer reporting its first drop in profits for three years.

It added the pay structure still promoted "future excessive pay-outs" and hit out at a £4 million 'golden hello' for Laura Wade-Gery, executive director for multichannel e-commerce, after she joined from Tesco.

The wettest April to June period on record has also added to its woes, with the City forecasting a 3% drop in UK like-for-like sales excluding VAT.

General merchandise - or non-food - sales are expected to be down 6.7%, its worst performance since the quarter to the end of December 2008.

Nick Bubb, independent retail analyst, said: "The poor weather clearly hasn't helped any fashion retailer in recent months, but M&S's problems in womenswear go far beyond the weather, as they are clearly losing market share.

"The confusing array of sub-brands and the uninspiring merchandising and store ambience are bigger issues and although they are issues recognised by management the poor first-quarter sales imply that M&S's response has simply been too slow."

However, sales of food are expected to rise 0.8% after being boosted by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Rod Whitehead, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said: "We worry that the weakness in the top line is not just the weather. Some commentators are suggesting that M&S's womenswear range has been off-trend this summer."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015