Coles Myer on Wednesday said it would not spin off its Myer Grace Bros department stores business for at least nine months, in a move that will give the division’s new management a chance to turnaround its fortunes.

Chief executive John Fletcher said in a statement issued after the first day of a two day board meeting that the board "has deferred any further consideration of changes to the group's structure until after the end of the 2003 financial year".

The board issued its announcement after considering review of an earlier report which recommended spliting off Myer Grace Bros and Target by the end of the next fiscal year.

"The review found that additional shareholder value could potentially be unlocked through alternative structural options," Mr Fletcher added.

"However, it was agreed that any further consideration of these alternatives needed to be informed by the performance of the non-food brands through the all important Christmas period and the balance of the 2002-03 financial year."

Coles Myer is expected to reveal its latest sales and profit figures on Thursday.