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British Gas customers facing further price hikes?

British Gas customers could be facing further price hikes amid soaring wholesale energy prices. In January, the energy giant imposed a 15 per cent increase on its tariffs, bringing the average annual dual fuel bill to £1,055 - a rise of £143. Meanwhile, bills for direct debit customers increased by an average of £131 to £968.Now a statement from the firm's parent company Centrica has suggested that a further hike could be due to safeguard profit margins in the face of a doubling in wholesale gas prices. It said: "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."City analysts predict that the rise could be as high as 18 per cent and that it will be imposed later this year. The last round of price increases prompted 100,000 of British Gas 16 million customers to leave the provider.

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