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British Gas owner Centrica reports rise in profits

26th July 2012

British Gas owner, Centrica has announced a 15% increase in first-half adjusted operating profits to £1.45 billion along with a 23% increase in operating profits of residential arm, British Gas, to £345m. The utility said that increases were due to “colder than usual weather” in the months between April and June.

British Gas suggested in May this year that customers might face the possibility of increase in bills this winter and said rising wholesale gas prices were to blame. This was after they announced a 5% cut in its standard electricity tariff four months earlier.

Sam Laidlaw, Centrica Chief Executive said in the company’s interim results statement, “Centrica has performed well in the first half of 2012 despite challenging market conditions, although the increase in earnings must be placed in the context of unusually low levels of consumption and profits in the UK in the first half of 2011. We continue to focus on high standards of service, while ensuring that we run the business as efficiently as possible for the benefit of our customers. We have made significant investments to secure energy supplies for the UK – and will continue to invest across the Group, where we see value. As a result, we have a stronger business that is delivering benefits for all our stakeholders.”