Domino Printing Sciences said more than a fifth of its shareholders voted against a remuneration report at its annual general meeting, hours after the barcode-printer maker said it was unlikely to see any sales growth this year.
Domino Printing had warned earlier in the day that it would likely take a hit this year due to tough market conditions in Europe and fewer large orders from China. The news comes amid calls for tighter rules on British executives’ pay, which shot up nearly 50 per cent last year.
Seeking to ease public anger over big rewards for corporate leaders at a time of squeezed finances for most households, Business Secretary Vince Cable said earlier this week he wanted “to prevent rewards for mediocrity or failure.”
Also on Thursday, Trinity Mirror Plc chief Sly Bailey said she has had her pay frozen this year, after the British newspaper publisher posted a sharp drop in yearly earnings.
Domino Printing said 21.6 per cent of its shareholders voted against the remuneration report.
Shares in Domino Printing closed down 15.5 per cent at 560 pence, the top losers on Britain’s FTSE 250 midcap index. Earlier on Thursday, the stock fell as much as 22 per cent, its sharpest single-day fall in over two decades.
Domino, which makes printers to stamp barcodes and expiry dates on food, beverages and other products, said total sales for the first four months of its fiscal year were 6 per cent below the year-ago levels.
However, the British firm said it did not expect the slower sales growth to continue through the year.
“External conditions have led to extended sales cycles and deferral in decision making as customers remain cautious about investment commitments,” Domino said in a statement.
It said the lack of confidence was most notable in Europe — Domino’s largest market and accounting for 45 per cent of total revenue.
In China, the level of larger projects was running below that of 2011, while political unrest was affecting sales in the Middle East. The firm, whose competitors include US companies Danaher and Dover, said order intake rates for new equipment were below prior-year levels. However, there were no immediate signs of lower production at its customers, Domino said.