// Sainsbury’s chairman Martin Scicluna says they’ve followed acquisition activity around rivals but is happy with current leadership & strategy
// CEO Simon Robert hails a “strong operating performance” over the past year
// Comments were made during Sainsbury’s AGM today
Sainsbury’s chairman has shrugged off speculation that the Big 4 retailer could be the latest target of a private equity takeover and hailed “progress” under its current leadership.
Shares in the UK’s second largest grocer have lifted in recent weeks, after rival Morrisons attracted offers from private equity suitors.
It also comes several weeks after the CMA cleared the way for the billionaire Issa Brothers and backers TDR Capital to complete their takeover of Asda.
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Speaking at Sainsbury’s AGM, chairman Martin Scicluna said the firm has followed acquisition activity surrounding its rivals but it was happy with its current leadership and strategy.
“We have obviously followed the takeover of Asda and are following events at Morrisons, although that is an active process so can make no comment there,” Scicluna said.
“What I can talk about is what we are doing ourselves and we are clearly happy with the strategy that Simon has laid out and on the execution of that plan.
“We are very pleased with the progress we are making and the operation improvements we are making.
“We are pleased that the market has recognised that and you will have recognised our price movement over the past few month.”
At the AGM, chief executive Simon Roberts, who joined Sainsbury’s 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, hailed a “strong operating performance” over the past year.
It came days after the retail giant said sales were better than expected in the last three months, as levels of home food and drink consumption remained high despite the easing of restrictions.
Roberts also told shareholders that Sainsbury’s has seen “some impacts” on supply recently amid a shortage of HGV drivers for some food and drink suppliers.
“Some of our suppliers are seeing increased levels of demand and we are working hard to get products back into stores,” he said.
“Availability has improved year on year but we are pushing ourselves to get even better here.”
The AGM was held from the grocery giant’s Holborn headquarters, with shareholders able to attend both physically and digitally.
with PA Wires