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Sainsbury’s chief sees pay deal jump to almost £5m amid cost-of-living crisis

Simon Roberts saw his overall pay deal for the year to March rise to £4.947 million.

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Simon Roberts

The boss of Sainsbury’s has been handed an almost £5 million pay package for the past year as shoppers face soaring food prices.

Simon Roberts, who has been chief executive of the UK’s second largest grocery chain since 2020, saw his overall pay deal for the year to March rise by more than £1.4 million to £4.947 million.

The pay deal – which was revealed in the company’s latest annual report – includes almost £4 million in bonuses despite the group posting lower profits for the year.

His total pay package is around 229 times that of the average Sainsbury’s worker, who earns a typical £21,635, according to the annual report.

Falling commodity prices
The supermarket chain saw profits dip over the past year amid surging costs and efforts to control food inflation for shoppers (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Mr Roberts received a base salary of £899,000, as well as annual benefits of £17,000 and £67,000 worth of pensions payments.

He also received an annual bonus of £1.7 million and long-term incentives worth £2.26 million.

Sainsbury’s finance boss Kevin O’Byrne also saw his pay package improve for the year, according to the report.

He received a pay deal worth a total of £3.3 million, up from £2.95 million for the previous year.

His latest deal included a £675,000 base salary and around £2.5 million in bonuses, alongside other benefits.

It came despite a dip in annual profits at Sainsbury’s after it took a hit from soaring costs and held back price rises for shoppers.

The grocer reported a 5% fall in underlying pre-tax profits to £690 million for the year to March 4.

It came as the firm said it spent £560 million on improving prices as shoppers came under pressure from rampant food and drink inflation.

Food inflation struck 19.3% in April, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), remaining near the 45-year-high of 19.6% recorded the previous month.

The soaring inflation has included sharp increases in the price of staples such as milk, bread and eggs.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The supermarkets have been protesting, claiming they’re not profiteering and contributing to the cost-of-living crisis.

“Meanwhile, people are paying the price at the tills.

“Simon Roberts’ bonanza bonus tells a very different story. His £5 million pay package is a reward for delivering profiteering profits.”

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