Profits dip for British Gas

<p>British Gas profits have fallen, its owner Centrica has announced.</p>

The share price of Centrica is slightly down this morning (February 20th) following the announcement by the firm that profits have fallen slightly at its subsidiary British Gas.

Centrica posted a dip in profits, which were recorded by the firm as being at £2.7 billion for 2013, down from £2.74 billion in the previous 12 months, while profits at British Gas were revealed to have come in at £571 million.

This was down six per cent on the £606 million that was recorded a year earlier, but British Gas remains one of the biggest energy companies in the UK.

Centrica's chief executive Sam Laidlaw said: "We have made good strategic progress across the group in 2013, investing along the gas value chain to secure long term, affordable energy supplies for our customers."

The company has come under attack from various sources in the last few weeks and the energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has even suggested that British Gas may be broken up by the government in order to build a fairer energy market in the UK.

Large supplier

Chairman of Centrica Ray Hawthornthwaite stated the firm is currently supplying energy or services to over 11 million of the UK's homes, plus employing over 30,000 people in the country.

He said: "Our vision remains to be the leading integrated energy company with customers at its core, and our scale is of great benefit to the UK as we secure the future energy needs of our customers. In an increasingly international gas market, our interests and those of our customers remain inextricably linked."

Stocks in Centrica are falling steadily this morning on the back of the fall in British Gas profits and by 08:46 GMT, shares in the company were down by 0.32 per cent for the day.

Earlier in the week, a spokeswoman for the Fuel Poverty Action group told the Guardian that Centrica is guilty of "profiteering" and stated that a minor drop in its profits will provide "little succour to the millions struggling with high bills, cold homes and unwanted prepayment meters precisely because of the profiteering of this company".

Find up to date information on the FTSE 100 and spread betting strategies at City Index

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.