Sainsbury chief's pay jumps after profits rise


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The Independent Online

Sainsbury's chief executive, Justin King, pocketed more than £4m last year after the grocer increased its profit for the eighth consecutive year.

The supermarket chain also achieved its highest share of the grocery market at 16.9 per cent in a decade and has now grown its like-for-like sales for 33 consecutive quarters.

Mr King, who took the helm in 2004, saw his total pay jump by 23 per cent to £4.3m, largely driven by a 94 per cent uplift in his bonus to £996,000 after the group hit most of its financial performance and share price targets. Sainsbury's profits rose by 6.2 per cent to £756m over the year to March.

The market research firm Nielsen yesterday provided further evidence of Sainsbury's outstripping Tesco, Morrisons and Asda, when it said the chain's sales rose by 4.9 per cent over the 12 weeks to 25 May.

Mr King's pay also included an increased salary of £940,000, pension benefits of £313,000, a share award of £975,000 deferred for two years, and a payout of £1.04m under its long-term incentive plan. He could bag up to £5.8m this financial year, if all his maximum performance targets are hit.

The chief executives of Tesco and Morrisons missed out on bonuses after they suffered a shrinking bottom-line last year, although both supermarket chains remain more profitable than Sainsbury's. Marc Bolland, the chief executive of Marks & Spencer, is not expected to receive his full bonus when its annual report is published today, following a 6 per cent slide in underlying profits to £665.2m last year.

Sainsbury's was founded in 1869 by John Sainsbury and his wife, Mary, in London.