Friday, 2 July 2010

Odd Reuters report on Tesco

At home sick today, but still keeping an eye on AGMs, saddo that I am. I noticed that the head of the Reuters report on the Tesco AGM reads as follows:
Tesco wins investor backing for pay plan

Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer, won support for its management pay plan at its annual shareholder meeting on Friday, despite criticism from a handful of investor lobby groups.

The supermarket group said its remuneration report was endorsed by 62.36 percent in a shareholder vote, with 37.64 percent against.
This is odd for two reasons. First, surely anyone with any knowledge of exec pay (and shareholder challenges to it) will regard a vote of over 37% against a rem report as pretty significant? It is way above average for this season - or last season, when there was a real spike in voting. And for a FTSE100 it's a really bad result.

But secondly, those figures don't even tell the whole story. Check out the company's AGM statement and you find that actually there were a significant number of abstentions too. The actual vote in favour was just under 53%, with oppose votes of just under 32%, and 15% abstentions. Personally I think it looks more like a narrow majority supporting the company's exec pay policy.

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