Booker sets up schemes to give staff stake in business

Booker announced at its annual general meeting plans to give staff a stake in the business with a share incentive scheme for senior employees and a Save As You Earn Scheme for all staff.

The three-year incentive scheme is open to 600 senior staff including all depot managers and will award them shares on a sliding scale dependent on the share price.

Booker chief executive Charles Wilson said: “All the staff of Booker have done a great job in the last two and a half years to restore the business.”

He said the company had gone from a market capitalisation of zero to pound;350m during that period and the aim was to raise it to pound;700m in the next two to three years.

Wilson said: “These 600 people can make a difference and we want to give them a meaningful reward.”

He said the Save as You Earn Scheme was being introduced because Booker wanted to have as many staff as possible as shareholders so they had a stake in its success. He also said he was pleased that for the first time in many years Booker staff had received bonuses in two successive years.

Prior to its AGM, Booker released a trading update. It said sales in the 14 weeks to July 4, including Blueheath, were up 1.9% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were up 4.7%, but tobacco sales were down 2.2%.

Wilson said: “When you remember that Easter did not fall in our first quarter this year, and adjust for that, it is a very good performance.”

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