Saturday, April 10, 2021

Debenhams’ new boss faces scrutiny over growing pensions deficit

Debenhams’ new chief executive Sergio Bucher is expected to come under intense scrutiny this week as pressure mounts to address the retailer’s growing pensions deficit.

Later this week Debenhams will release its yearly financial results, inevitably fueling questions on how the new boss will go about solving the pensions hole which analysts Morgan Stanley estimate could now stand at £250 million.

Previously holding the position as vice president of Amazon, Bucher joined the company in May.

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Debenhams pre-tax profits are expected to reach £110 million and sales £2.9 billion, but with continual controversy surrounding the collapse of BHS and Sir Philip Green‘s reluctance to cap the 22,000 ex-staff members pensions deficit, this means Bucher will be under the microscope.

“Sergio Bucher, the new CEO from Amazon, will, in our view, be well received by institutions,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Freddie George said.

“He will have a ‘fresh’ look at the strategy and we believe will consider cutting the dividend.”

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