Sainsbury’s appoints Martin Scicluna as chairman

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Sainsbury’s (SBRY) has announced it will appoint former Deloitte and RSA Insurance chairman Martin Scicluna as its new non-executive chairman to replace David Tyler.

Scicluna will join the board as chairman-designate and a non-executive director from 1 November, working closely with Tyler for a handover period.

Sainsbury’s anticipates that Scicluna will assume the role of chairman from the beginning of the new financial year in March 2019, or soon after, at which point Tyler will step down from the board.

Scicluna is currently chairman of RSA Insurance and property firm Great Portland Estates, the latter of which he intends to step down from.

He served on the board of payments group Worldpay during its float, has been a non-exec director at Lloyds Banking Group and was chairman and a partner at Deloitte for 26 years.

Sainsbury’s announced in April that it had begun a search for a new chairman as Tyler was approaching nine years’ service in the role.

Dame Susan Rice, Sainsbury’s senior independent director, who led the search, said: “David has been an outstanding steward of Sainsbury’s during his time as Chairman, providing invaluable strategic counsel and guidance, including on the acquisition of Home Retail Group and the proposed combination of Sainsbury’s and Asda. We are grateful for his substantive and important ongoing contribution.

“Martin brings a breadth of experience and leadership and we look forward to welcoming him to the Sainsbury’s Board at this pivotal time for the business.”

Scicluna added: “I’m delighted to join Sainsbury’s, a company I have long admired for its clear customer focus and its strong values. Mike Coupe and his management team have positioned the business for a successful future of delivering significant value for shareholders, customers and other stakeholders.”

Tyler said: “I have greatly enjoyed my nine years as Chairman of Sainsbury’s. The retail industry has undergone immense change during this period and we have transformed our business so that it can continue to succeed in the medium and long term. I remain fully involved in and committed to the business and look forward to welcoming Martin to the Board.”

Sainsbury’s will hold its AGM later this morning.

The supermarket’s shares are down 0.6% to 327.5p so far this morning.

Morning update

After a hectic day yesterday, the newsflow this morning is quieter - although in wider retail Burberry has issued first quarter results, while pub chain JD Wetherspoon expects to hit full-year targets despite the CO2 crisis. 

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened 1.2% to 7,603.1pts as US President Trump once again prepares to ramp up trade war tariffs and rhetoric.

Fallers include Ocado (OCDO), falling back 5.3% to 1,044.5p after yesterday’s latest share price surge, Premier Foods (PFD), is back 2.1% to 45.2p, Greene King (GNK), down 1.8% to 557p and McColl’s (MCLS), down 1.6% to 210p.

The few risers include Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), up 0.8% to 2,699p, PayPoint (PAY), up 0.6% to 964p and C&C Group (CCR), up 0.6% to €3.48.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% yesterday to 7,692pts to cement Monday’s gains.

Ocado (OCDO) finished the day surging up 9.1% to 1,103p, despite revealing heavy investment in infrastructure and international expansion had swung it to a first half loss. The shares fell as low as 935.8p in early trading, but rose through the day as brokers reaffirmed buy ratings and the group reassured the City its retail earnings will improve in the second half.

Premier Foods (PFD) also surged 9.9% to a multi-month high of 46.15p after activist investor Oasis Management increased its stake in the business leading to hopes it will be able to drive more dramatic change.

However, Tesco (TSCO) slid 2% to 254.7p after the sad news that Charles Wilson will step down from his role leading Tesco UK & Ireland due to ill health – though he remains in charge of the Booker business.

Elsewhere, Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), was up 2.9% to 2,678p, FeverTree (FEVR) rose 2.5% to 3,503p, McBride (MCB), was up 1.1% to 129.4p and Britvic (BVIC), rose 1.1% to 786.5p.

Fallers included Greencore (GNC), down 1.3% to 185p, Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), down 1.3% to 370p, Devro (DVO), down 2.2% to 205p, Science in Sport (SIS), down 2% to 74p and Crawshaw (CRAW), down 1.8% to 5.5p.

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