Centrica issues profits warning

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has warned that its first half group operating profits will be “materially below” last year due to the rising cost of gas and electricity.

In a trading statement today (May 12), it also hints that retail prices may rise further following a 15% price increase at the start of the year. Wholesale gas and electricity prices are 92% and 100% higher respectively than a year ago driven by record oil prices.

Centrica, Britain’s biggest domestic energy supplier, says that wholesale gas and power prices are expected to remain “stubbonly high” in the UK, and prices in the second half of this year are double that of the same period last year.

It says: “While the current outlook for gas prices does create a challenging environment for energy suppliers, we will take the necessary action to deliver reasonable margins in the retail business.”

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