The announcement came in statement issued by Tomas Falkman, the company’s senior area manager for Scandinavia.

The group headquarters for the drycleaning business is based in Munich at Cleaning Enterprises GmbH and has a regional support office, Fred Butler Sweden AB in Stockholm.

Andreas Klensch, MD and CEO of the Fred Butler Group, said: “We have to close our Swedish operations due to high administrative costs and also to the aggressive price competition in the Stockholm area.” He added that the economic climate meant that the group had been unable to find a buyer for the Swedish business but it was still open for discussions.”

Klensch confirmed that the group would continue its business in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. In addition, it plans to enter the Austrian market with a franchisee by April 2009.

The total number of Fred Butler shops (including franchisees) now stands at 40, with 17 of them in Germany. Germany’s first flagship Fred Butler textile cleaning store opened its doors in May 2006. The Fred Butler brand was developed by the Linde Group to relaunch its liquid carbon dioxide drycleaning business in Europe, replacing its former Hangers Europe business.