Deal comes on top of last month?s 17% rise
Sainsbury's shareholders have approved a new pay deal for chief executive Justin King following the retailer's AGM yesterday.

A 98.7 per cent majority of shareholders voted in favour of the company's remuneration report, despite being urged to contest it by corporate governance lobby group Pirc. The group described the package - which involves a lucrative incentive scheme and bonus - as 'potentially excessive'.

The supermarket has also added another executive director to its board. Mike Coupe, who was formerly trading director, joins King and finance director Darren Shapland as only the third executive director.

Shareholders at the meeting also expressed concern over speculation that the company may be divided in two by major shareholder Delta Two and property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

Chairman Sir Philip Hampton reiterated to shareholders that Sainsbury's was resistant to plans to split the retailer into property and operating firms.

Last month, King was awarded a 17 per cent pay rise, following strong full-year profits. At the time, the supermarket said that King's basic pay had fallen significantly behind the average for senior executives. Including his bonus, he could earn more than£2.3 million this year, up from£1.9 million in 2006.

The group is also understood to have raised King's salary to convince him to stay on at the grocer, following the failed takeover bid by private equity giant CVC earlier this year.