Sainsbury is due to hold its annual general meeting in London later today.

In a statement released ahead of the meeting, Sainsbury chairman Philip Hampton revealed that the company would launch a long-term incentive plan to retain key talent, including 1,000 senior managers and all supermarket store managers.

He also said that as part of its plans to accelerate its store development programme, Sainsbury had acquired a 35,000 sq ft food-focused store in Manchester that would open in 2008.

Hampton added: “At last year's meeting I said how I believed that Sainsbury's was a company worth fighting for and I think our performance over the last financial year has increased confidence in our prospects among customers, colleagues and shareholders.”