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British Gas Profits rise 14pc

British Gas has reported a rise in profits of 14pc throughout 2012. It is though the company benefited from colder weather which saw consumers use more energy, as well as significant growth in the company’s oil and power generation business.

Total profits for the year stood at a massive £2.74bn, while the British Gas residential energy supply arm, which raised prices for consumers in October by 6pc, saw total profits rise 11pc, to £606m.

Centrica PLC, the company that owns British Gas, has attributed the rise in profits to an increase of 12pc in gas sales throughout 2012. Chief Executive of Centrica, Sam Laidlaw said: “We sold a lot more gas last year, but out margins per household actually went down”

There will no doubt be those questioning why a company that is making £2.74bn in profit over the course of the year needs to raise prices, and to this Laidlaw added that Centrica provide a “vital source of energy to the UK” and if the group was going to “continue to keep the lights on” and keep secure gas coming into the UK it needed to “remain a successful company”.

There have been fears over the last few weeks that energy prices are set to soar in the near future, once the UK enters into a transition period between leaving behind old inefficient power generation systems, and moves into more sustainable energy generation. The planned building of new nuclear power stations in the UK is not expected to be completed by the 2020’s, and it is expected that we may have to start importing foreign energy at higher prices.

If you have any questions related to this article or any other financial matter, please do not hesitate to contact our advisors who will be happy to help.

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