Morrisons upcoming annual report is the focus of much interest from the papers as the retailer faces a possible investor revolt over former chief executive Dalton Philips’ £3m pay packet. The Sunday Times reports that the supermarket is braced for a substantial vote against its remuneration policies at the meeting on Thursday. As reported by The Grocer, Philips doubled his pay to past £2m last year thanks to a bonus despite falling sales and profits. He also received a £1.1m payoff when he was parted ways with Morrisons in January.
The Guardian looks back over the explosive meeting a year ago when Morrisons founder Sir Ken Morrison tore into Philips in a scathing intervention, labelling the then CEO’s latest strategy to modernise the Bradford-based chain “bullshit”. Sir Ken will be in attendance again this year but the paper adds any displeasure will have to be made with care to avoid spooking the City.
The Daily Mail says Investment Management Association, which advises members who own approximately 15% of the FTSE 100 company’s shares, has issued an amber top alert on the pay report – its second most severe warning.
Morrisons will also face demands at the AGM to increase staff pay in a co-ordinated attack on Britain’s blue-chip companies by wage campaigners, the paper adds. Activists will challenge the company’s board to adopt the Living Wage for the 120,000 staff which work in its 600 stores. ShareAction and The Living Wage Foundation also plan to confront Tesco, Sainsbury’s and other FTSE 100 firms whose annual shareholder meetings take place in coming weeks. ShareAction spokeswoman Lisa Nathan said: “The big supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – are leading employers. Everyone has a relationship with them and they have much to gain by being first to have that Living Wage brand. We’d like to see them play their part in the economic recovery by making sure their staff can earn a proper living.”
Marks & Spencer’s biggest private shareholder has sold most of his stake, according to The Sunday Times. Bill Adderley, the billionaire founder of Dunelm, offloaded two-thirds of his 3% position following the high street retailer posting its first rise in profits for four years.
The head of England’s NHS has taken aim at the food and drink industry, warning it must cut the sugar content of its products or risk “poisoning” the public (The Financial Times). Simon Stevens, speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, said obesity was “the new smoking”.