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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Price-fixing costs hit JJB profit
Manchester United shirts
Replica football kits boosted JJB sales
A fine imposed for the fixing of football shirt prices has eaten into profits at JJB Sports.

The House of Lords rejected the High Street chain's appeal that the 6.7m punishment given in 2003 by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was too high.

The company said it had now paid the outstanding 4.1m - making a total payment, with interest, of 8m.

Despite this, the company saw annual pre-tax profits grow by 14% to 38.5m on the back of replica kit sales.

In-store Nike and Adidas zones had also buoyed results, the firm said.

However, the rise, on group sales up 8.7% to 810.3m in the year to 28 January, was less than analysts had been expecting.

The chain added that a lack of major tournaments this summer would hit kit sales.

Legal move

The OFT imposed the penalty for fixing the price of England and Manchester United shirts in 2000 and 2001.

Consumer group Which? is now suing the Wigan-based company on behalf of fans who were overcharged for the kits.

JJB said it had also incurred costs of 3.3m after closing its 21-branch chain of Icon stores.

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