British Gas profits soar 58%

British Gas has reported a 58% rise in profits to £595m for its residential business last year.

British Gas

The Centrica owned energy supplier says its “strong results” were achieved after gaining an additional 141,000 gas and electricity customers, implementing “market leading price reductions” and by improving its operations by combining energy and services businesses.

The results come in the same week that Energy watchdog Ofgem revealed that that utilities suppliers profits have increased following falling wholesale costs and will fuel claims that firms are not quick enough to pass on price cuts to customers.

Earlier this month, British Gas launched a nationwide campaign following a 7% drop in prices to tell customers it has cut its rates and was the first big provider to pass on savings after a drop in wholesale prices last year.

The company also said it has improved its customer service with customer calls down 12% on 2008.

Sam Laidlaw, Centrica chief executive, says: “2009 was a year of significant achievement for Centrica with British Gas now transformed and the completion of the Venture Production and British Energy transactions.  Our existing strategic priorities have now been achieved, and today we have announced new priorities to build on the robust, vertically-integrated business model that we have in place.  Centrica is well-positioned to pursue growth opportunities and lead the drive to a low-carbon world, whilst maintaining the financial discipline to secure strong returns on our investments.”

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