Burton denies chief is to leave

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The Independent Online
Burton Group, the Debenhams and Dorothy Perkins retailer, yesterday dismissed City speculation that John Hoerner, chief executive, was to step down as "completely unfounded".

Rumours swept the stock market late on Thursday that Mr Hoerner might make way for Stuart Rose, the chief executive of the Burton Menswear, Dorothy Perkins and Evans subsidiaries.

But Mr Hoerner said yesterday: "There's no truth in it. Absolutely none at all." He also said there were no plans for a management reshuffle at a lower level, or that the company was set to issue a trading statement. "We will put out a statement in the middle of July as usual," he said.

Burton shares rose 4p to 128.5p on the statement. They had fallen slightly the day before in heavy late trading.

A decision by Mr Hoerner to stand aside would have surprised the stock market as he has been credited with the revival in the company's fortunes.