Shares in retail group Arcandor, which operates department store chain Karstadt and home shopping division Primondo, slumped after the publication of comments made by the group’s chief executive in a newsletter to employees.

In the newsletter Karl-Gerhard Eick said: “Without the support of the financial world, and the banks, this company will not be able to survive.”

Eick replaced Thomas Middelhoff as chief executive last month.