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JJB Sports will fight on over pounds 8m fine.

RETAILER JJB Sports will fight on if its appeal against a pounds 8m fine for price- fixing of replica kits is unsuccessful.

The Wigan-based group, which has strenuously denied the Office of Fair Trading charges, took the case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (OFT) and expects a decision in the next couple of months.

Finance director David Greenwood said the firm hoped for a positive outcome and believed it had a ``very strong case''.

He said that JJB could still appeal to higher courts,although he believed it would be exonerated by the current appeal.

JJB Sports, which has around 450 stores, last summer branded the OFT's charge as ``totally unfounded'' and denied it had ever been involved in any kind of price-fixing.

It accused the body of selective use of testimonies,many of which it claimed were contradictory.

Mr Greenwood's confidence about the case came ahead of full-year results for the firm, which are due to be announced on Wednesday.

Analysts tip JJB to unveil annual pre-tax profits of pounds 89.4m, up from pounds 88.3m previously.

Upbeat news is expected on the performance of the chain's healthclubs, with new sites thought to be hitting membership targets.

Positive news is also expected on outlets in JJB's pipeline,analysts say. It is thought it may exceed its target of eight to 10 openings in the next 12 months.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 13, 2004
Words:229
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