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28th Jul 2022

British Gas owner Centrica sees profits increase five-fold as energy bills soar

Jack Peat

It comes amid fears that many Brits will face a choice between ‘heating or eating’ this winter

British Gas owner Centrica has seen its profits soar on the back of high energy prices.

The company said its 2022 interim results showed profits in the six months to the end of June were up five-fold to £1.34 billion.

It announced it would be restoring its dividend, with shareholders set to cash in thanks to the bumper profits.

Calls for a windfall tax have been sounded as concerns grow about the cost-of-living crisis.

New forecasts suggest energy prices could rise by 65 per cent in the autumn, taking average annual bills to a whopping £3,244 this October when the next energy price cap kicks in.

Analysts Cornwall Insight also expect energy prices to rise by another 4 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, taking the average dual bill, based on typical use, to an eye-watering £3,363 a year.

Centrica’s group chief executive Chris O’Shea said the company would continue to support customers “through the most challenging energy crisis in living memory”.

He added: “We are very aware of the difficult environment many customers are facing and we will continue supporting them.

“We are investing in our customers and colleagues, creating at least 500 additional UK-based customer service roles in British Gas Energy and 1,000 new UK engineering apprenticeships, while through the British Gas Energy Support Fund we are providing grants to help customers pay their energy bills.

“We have a clear strategy to continue improving operational performance, to grow our business and to position ourselves to deliver net zero at a cost which helps the many, not the few.

“We are committed to investing in the energy transition which will improve the security of energy supply in our core markets.”

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