Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp has announced he will stand down next year.
Set to conclude his planned five year stint in the role by 2016, Sharp made the comments as the company revealed a 7.3 per cent year-on-year profit of £113.5m.
On Debenhams’ financial performance, Sharp said: "We have had an encouraging start to the year, with strong new product launches which have been well received by our customers, and we are in good shape to build on last year's strong performance over peak trading."
Looking to dispel rumours of his eventual step down and to confirm the company is already seeking his replacement, Sharp added in a separate statement: “I hope being transparent about my intentions will stop recent speculation becoming a distraction, allowing me and the Debenhams team to focus on delivering our strategy and the important Christmas trading period."
Shares were up 3.43 per cent to 83.93p on Thursday morning following the news.