Liberty promises 2011 profit after chief steps down

The new private equity owner of Liberty yesterday vowed to return the 135-year old London department store to profitability, as its chief executive quit.

Marco Capello, the head of BlueGem Capital Partners, which has acquired Liberty's shares for £32m, said: "I would be very disappointed if Liberty was not profitable in the second half of this year, but definitely in 2011." Liberty made a reduced loss of £5.2m for the year to 31 December 2009.

Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye is stepping down as chief executive after three years, but will remain a non-executive director. The retailer's buying director, Ed Burstell, has been promoted to managing director. Mr Capello, who has become Liberty's executive chairman, said Liberty will be delisted. The private equity fund will focus on Liberty's historical strengths, such as scarves and fabrics, as well as investing in the store on Great Marlborough Street.

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