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Liberty operator says sale is 'less likely'

Liberty department store operator MWB Group has postponed plans for a sale of its businesses due to the poor economic climate.

In an interim management statement, the group's board said it intended to sell the businesses as soon as the market conditions recovered en ought to realise full shareholder value.

A statement from the group said: "Despite the continued growth of MWB's operating businesses, the credit crunch made the planned sale of the group by the end of the year, less likely to be achieved at prices reflecting their current financial success and strong brand values."

It said that sales and margins at the department store have been on budget which the wholesale business has shown growth. The opening of Liberty of London's first stand-alone store this June will go ahead.

MWB Group also operates the Malmaison hotel chain and the MWB Business exchange company which supplies office space.

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