Co-op chief asks for pay cut amid sales upturn

A Co-op food branch  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A Co-op food branch (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
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Co-operative Group boss Richard Pennycook has requested a large cut in pay after he said the firm had finally “turned a corner”.

The chief executive has asked the board to reduce his base salary from £1.25 million to £750,000 as the embattled mutual entered “calmer waters”.

Pennycook stressed that his pay cut was “by no means the main news”, as he praised the “dedication” of his 70,000 staff and revealed that like-for-like sales across the group’s 2,800 food stores grew by 1.6 per cent in the 52 weeks to 2 January. The Co-op’s funeral business saw sales climb by 9.9 per cent.

Group revenues fell slightly to £9.3 billion, from £9.4bn the year before, while group underlying pre-tax profits rose to £81m, from £73m.

Pennycook said: “This has been a year of further progress at the Co-op as we have invested to drive the growth of our businesses.

“Underlying profits have increased but our priority this year has been on putting the building blocks in place for the long term.”