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Liberty losses increase

Liberty reported an increase in losses before tax to £4.2 million for the six months to June 30, up from £2.2m the previous year.

The London department store business said that sales increased by just under 6% to £21.7m for the period.

Liberty said that the loss before tax reflected £2m of investment in the Liberty of London brand, and one-off restructuring costs of £900,000.

The business opened a standalone store for its Liberty of London brand in Sloane Street in July.

Chairman Richard Balfour-Lynn said that sales from its main flagship were up to £16.7m, with menswear sales growing 13% during the period.

The company added that its balance sheet was supported by its Great Marlborough Street flagship store which was valued at £31.5m.

He said: "Despite the current economic climate I can report that revenue across all of Liberty's divisions has improved during the first half of the year compared to the same period a year ago."

He added that the fabrics division saw a 15% uplift in sales to £7.6m.

Balfour-Lynn said that the impact of the restructuring over the past nine months would come through in the later part of the year.

He said: "White it is difficult to gauge our performance going forward in the present retail market and general economic uncertainty, I sincerely believe the entire Liberty business is better placed than ever to deliver a performance that reflects its inherent potential as well as its extensive history."

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