The body responsible for consumer protection took action against 112 businesses found to be in breach of consumer law last year.

The National Consumer Agency annual report for 2012 also shows it investigated a range of significant safety issues covering items such as carbon monoxide alarms, high visibility jackets and music docking stations.

The agency undertook visits to 349 businesses last year, with the grocery/supermarket sector accounting for the greatest number of these and consequent enforcement actions.

The NCA also received over 500 complaints in 2012 in relation to misleading prices and how prices were displayed.

It had two cases before the courts in 2012.

Associated Newspapers Limited was found guilty of four breaches of the Consumer Protection Act over the use of a wraparound cover on the Irish Mail on Sunday newspaper, which had the effect of misleading consumers into believing that the paper being purchased was the Sunday Tribune.

In a second case, a compensation order of €4,000 was secured for a consumer who had purchased a clocked car from a dealer in Galway.