Sainsbury shares tumbled by 16.75 to 268.5p yesterday after a severe profits warning was announced following the departure of chairman Sir Peter Davis.

Yesterday’s profit warning downgraded its forecasts to £400m against its previous estimate of £505m, to a level not seen since 1989.

According to newspaper reports Davis is in line for an additional £2.1m as a pay-off, despite being ousted from the company following a row over executive pay.