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Royal Mail Group chief executive Moya Greene said that next year “would be a good aim” for the planned sale of the firm.

Although there is no definite time frame for Royal Mail to be privatised, the government hopes the firm receives the capital it needs in 2013, Greene said at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and Marketforce Future of UK Postal Services conference in London yesterday (4 December).

Greene said: “I know that Her Majesty’s government would like to see us have access to capital next year and it certainly would be very helpful for Royal Mail if we could do. But I think it would be foolhardy for anyone to try to predict what markets are going to be a month from now, let alone 12 months from now.”

The firm’s half year results for the six months ended 30 September revealed it had turned a £41m loss into a £99m profit, year on year. Greene said the firm was in a "stronger position" to capitalise on its brand, scale and its network across the UK and Europe.

Greene added:  “We have a very exciting future ahead of us, but much more remains to be done. The next 12 months will be very demanding for Royal Mail.”