British Gas owner hints at further bill hike

By Wale Azeez, business reporter
British Gas owner Centrica has not ruled out another price hike, a little more than two months after four million customers were hit by the last rise.
The company raised tariffs in May, but said wholesale energy costs had continued to climb since then.It was therefore "keeping the movement of wholesale energy prices and their impact on our cost of supply under review".Last year's pre-payment price cap, coupled with the ongoing loss of customers also impacted on Centrica's earnings in the six-month period to 30 June.The group's consumer arm saw underlying operating profits fall to €430m in the period after it was hit by last year's price cap.The energy group lost another 1.4 million domestic customer accounts year-on-year in the first half of 2018, falling 5% to 24.1 million, but said that rate of decline had slowed.
British Gas owner hints at further bill hike

April: British Gas bills to rise for 4.1 million households
Overall, Centrica's group underlying half-year operating profits fell 4% to €782m.
Iain Conn, group chief executive of Centrica, said: "In a first half in which we experienced rapidly rising commodity prices, extreme weather patterns, continued competitive pressures and ongoing political and regulatory uncertainty, Centrica demonstrated resilience from its portfolio of businesses."He added: "We continue to make progress on implementing our strategy."We have developed new propositions and delivery capabilities in both customer divisions and our cost efficiency programme is on track.
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"Although we are awaiting the final outcome of regulation to impose a temporary cap on all default tariffs for residential customers in the UK, we have plans in place to manage this."Centrica shares fell more than 5% after the results were published but recovered some ground to close down 2.6%.
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