Spring Ram subsidiary fined 2,400 pounds

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The Independent Online
TRADING Standards officials in two north-of-England counties have successfully prosecuted a subsidiary of Spring Ram, the troubled kitchen and bathroom company, writes Robert Cole.

Ram Kitchens, one of two dozen Spring Ram subsidiaries, was fined pounds 2,400 after two charges were brought by the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service over misleading price claims. The prosecution followed a long-running investigation initiated in 1991.

Bradford magistrates heard representatives of Ram Kitchens plead guilty to two charges on 18 January this year. The company was fined pounds 1,200 on each count and also had to pay pounds 1,300 in costs.

The trading standards department had prepared seven charges, but dropped five to concentrate efforts on two specimen cases.

Ram Kitchens was promoting goods for sale at half-price, but officials were not satisfied that equipment had ever been on sale at the full price.

In September 1991, Humberside County Council Trading Standards Department brought nine charges relating to misleading price indications in advertising and promotional material. In the earlier case, magistrates imposed a fine of pounds 250 per case, a total of pounds 2,250, plus pounds 350 in costs.

After notching up staggering sales and profit growth through the 1980s and into the 1990s, Spring Ram, the parent holding company, shocked the stock market by announcing poor financial results for 1992. In the aftermath the shares halved in value and the group finance director resigned.