Burton reveals chief at Debenhams made pounds 2m profit on shares

The chief executive of the Debenhams department stores, which are set to be demerged from the Burton Group next month, received pounds 2.63m last year including salary and profits from share options. However, as Nigel Cope, City Correspondent, reports, the sale was due to personal reasons and does not reflect his view of Debenhams' prospects as a separately quoted company.

Terry Green made a profit of almost pounds 2m on share options cashed in last March, according to the Burton annual report published yesterday. This was in addition to his annual pay of pounds 662,000, a rise of almost 16 per cent.

However, the company denied that Mr Green's decision to sell almost all his options reflected a lack of confidence in Debenhams' future prospects. It is understood that Mr Green was recently divorced and has bought another house.

Mr Green, and the rest of the Debenhams board, will be allocated fresh share options in Debenhams though the levels have not yet been announced. Other Burton directors will be able to carry over their share options. The biggest beneficiary is John Hoerner, the Burton chief executive who will be the chief executive of Arcadia, the re-named multiples business. He holds options worth more than pounds 3m.

It also emerged yesterday that Peter Jarvis, the former Whitbread chief executive who will be the non-executive chairman of Debenhams, will be paid an annual salary of pounds 170,000 for two days' work. Mr Jarvis defended the pay package, saying it had been decided by the remuneration committee. The annual report also showed that Stuart Rose, who left Burton after failing to win a top job in the de-merged group, was paid compensation of pounds 582,000.

The details came as the listing particulars of Debenhams were published. These showed that Mr Green would be paid pounds 350,00 as chief executive. The four executive directors will receive an annual bonus of approximately two thirds of their basic annual salary. The share split will see Burton shareholders receive one Debenhams share and two shares in Arcadia for every eight Burton shares held.

Debenhams plans to spend pounds 350m on store modernisation and open 10 new stores over the next five years. It will introduce more designer brands and hopes to improve still further its margins which already stand at 10 per cent.

An emergency meeting to vote on the de-merger will be held on 22 January. Shares in the two companies are expected to start trading on 26 January.

Burton shares edged 2.25p higher to 143.25p