Centrica reports £1.3bn profit before gas price hike

Big six face grilling

Business digest: Company’s UK arm, British Gas, has been operating at a loss since April

LAST UPDATED AT 11:31 ON Thu 28 Jul 2011

Centrica, Britain's largest energy supplier, has reported profits of £1.3bn for the first half of this year, despite recently announcing that it would be raising prices for customers of its UK arm, British Gas.

The energy company said that adjusted profits at British Gas were down 54 per cent on the same period last year, due to a 30 per cent increase in wholesale gas prices coupled with warm weather leading to less consumption.

Centrica maintained that although British Gas made a profit in the first quarter of the year, it has been operating at a loss since April, thus necessitating the price hike.

Gas and electricity prices will rise by an average of 18 per cent and 16 per cent respectively from August 18, adding on average £190 a year to around nine million people's bills.

Read a full report at the Guardian.

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James Murdoch
Business: James Murdoch