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Energy giant cutting 1,000 jobs

British Gas profits rise 31% as energy costs fall

Scottish GasBritish Gas, trading as Scottish Gas north of the border, has reported a 31% rise in annual profits to £574 million.

Profits at its parent company, Centrica, fell by 12% to £1.46 billion because of a sharp slump in wholesale gas prices.

Potential customer outrage at the size of British Gas’s profit was pre-empted by last week’s 5.1% cut in the average bill.

UK gas prices are currently trading at just below 30p per therm but many customers are being charged at least three times the price.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “Hearing news of rising profits when wholesale energy prices have tumbled will leave many British Gas customers wondering if they’re being treated fairly.”

British Gas is among six big energy suppliers to announce price cuts as the cost of energy has fallen for the companies. However, Centrica said it would be cutting 1,000 jobs this year in response to lower energy earnings.

Iain Conn, chief executive, said Centrica had delivered a “resilient” financial performance despite the challenge of falling wholesale oil and gas prices. He insisted the lower wholesale price was being passed on to customers.

The company has proposed a final dividend of 8.43p, resulting in a full-year dividend of 12p a share.

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