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".

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