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Debenhams profits expected to rise as race for CEO heats up

Analysts are predicting Debenhams will report a 2.3% increase in pre-tax profits to £91m for its first half on Thursday (April 14), while sales are expected to be up £2% to £1.64bn.

Debenhams

Debenhams

The department store group is also expected to announce a new chief executive to replace Michael Sharp, who is standing down after five years at the helm amid shareholder pressure over lacklustre performance.

As previously reported by Drapers sources have indicated that Stuart Machin, managing director of Australian department store Target, is in advanced talks with the retailer. Machin resigned from Target on Friday over a supplier income scandal, The Sunday Times reported yesterday. He said he would “accept his share of responsibility” despite not having been aware of the accounting debacle until it was revealed.

Other candidates include Alistair McGeorge, former chairman of New Look and ex-managing director of Australian Woolworths business The Big W, Mothercare CEO Mark Newton-Jones and former Karen Millen chief executive Mike Shearwood.

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