Sainsbury's names new finance chief

British supermarket group Sainsbury’s today lifted uncertainty over its management team by appointing a new finance director from retail chain Carpetright.

British supermarket group Sainsbury’s today lifted uncertainty over its management team by appointing a new finance director from retail chain Carpetright.

Darren Shapland, 38, will be paid a basic salary of £400,000 (€572,000) as well as annual bonuses when he replaces Roger Matthews, who announced his intention to leave in October.

Mr Shapland has been finance director of Carpetright since 2002 and previously held top level posts at high street chain Superdrug and Top Shop group Arcadia.

The move follows a tough period for Sainsbury’s, which hit a new low in its 135-year history in November when it announced half-year losses for the first time.

The former number one supermarket, which is in third position behind Tesco and Asda, has been working on improving its supply chain in recent months, with chief executive Justin King launching a sales-led turnaround programme.

Mr King said Mr Shapland had “excellent” experience in the retail sector after holding a number of hands-on and financial roles.

He said: “He will be a great asset to Sainsbury’s and the company’s management team as we continue to implement the plans outlined last October.”

Mr Shapland was finance director of Superdrug from 2000 to 2002. During his 12 years with Arcadia, roles included finance director of Top Shop and Top Man and finance director of the Arcadia brands.

Mr Matthews will stay with Sainsbury’s until after its full-year results in May, but no start date was given for Mr Shapland.

Carpetright said he would not leave before it announces its annual results at the end of June.

It said: “The process to find a successor for Darren is already under way.”

Carpetright recently reported a tough January sale in the UK and Ireland and said trading in all its markets had been subdued.

Recent industry figures showed Sainsbury’s accounted for 16% of all grocery sales in the UK in the 12 weeks to February 27.

However, the group was far outstripped by market leader Tesco, which held on to its crown as the country’s number one supermarket with a 29.2% share, up from 27% the same time last year. It was also beaten by Asda.

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