British Gas parent company Centrica report record-breaking profits of £3.3 billion amid UK energy crisis
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British Gas parent company Centrica has reported record-breaking profits for the 2022 financial year. The report comes at a time when household energy bills are skyrocketing amid a cost of living crisis cash-strapping households up and down the UK.
Centrica has revealed operating profits for last year totalling at £3.308 billion, which is up from £948 million in 2021. The figures also surpass its highest-ever yearly profit of £2.7 billion in 2012.
The majority of Centrica’s bumper profits have been generated through its North Sea oil and gas division, as well as its 20% stake in Britain’s nuclear power stations and sale of Spirit Energy’s Norwegian and Stratfjord UK oil and gas assets in May 2022 . In total, British Gas profits amount to £72 million out of the total reported profits, which is down by 39% in 2021 (£118 million).
Centrica’s profits have been boosted by the rising cost of energy in the UK as wholesale prices reached new highs as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The wake of the war led to the limitation of supply to the country.
Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive of Centria, issued the following statement: “Our performance in 2022 demonstrates the benefits of our balanced portfolio and our strong balance sheet. The energy crisis and cost of living pressures have created a challenging environment for customers and communities, but we have been able to provide much needed stability and support.
“We invested £75m in supporting our energy customers in 2022, which was greater than the £8 post-tax profit per customer earned by British Gas Energy. Whilst customers may see some relief given recent easing of prices, it remains clear that some will continue to need help and we will do what we can to support them in the year ahead.”
British Gas were on the receiving end of widespread criticism earlier this month after it was revealed that debt agents working for them were forcing customers on prepayment metres to recover debts. The company has since reversed this decision following Ofgem’s order to stop all energy suppliers from adopting the tactic.