Sainsbury chief executive Justin King is expected to face tough questioning from shareholders at Monday’s agm, demanding to know how he plans to revive the flagging company.
King has already stated he is carrying out a review of the business and will report back with the second quarter results on October 19, but analysts warned that after a profits warning and the resignation of chairman Sir Peter Davis, shareholders want reassurance.
The company this week announced the reversal of a decision to award Sir Peter 864,000 shares, but there is still expected to be a large vote by
shareholders against a proposed £2.1m payoff. Paul Smiddy of Baird said shareholders were unlikely to receive any further bad news: “You can never second-guess what questions are
going to be asked, but Sainsbury has issued a trading statement and it would be very remiss of it to then release any information not in that statement.”
King had to decide how it could attract customers and the target group of its offer, Smiddy added. “The initial focus has to be sorting out what the Sainsbury brand stands for and its position in the market.”
Richard Ratner of Seymour Pierce agreed the trading issues were all out in the open and the big issue for the agm would be resolving the row over Sir Peter.
He added: “King seems to be very honest about the problems but Sainsbury is so large it cannot take up a Waitrose-type position. It is a matter of getting the balance between being price-conscious and having a lot of value-added merchandise. It also needs to get non-food right - that has been a shambles.”
Amy Balchin